–Unveils 225 Tractors
As part of efforts to increase food production, the Katsina State government has launched a programme called Farm-to-Folk initiative has been launched, in collaboration with Springfield Agro Limited, a Kewalram Chanrai Group company, in partnership with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.
225 tractors were commissioned at the launch, to achieve total mechanisation of farming in the state.At a press briefing to herald the launch, Special Assistant to the state Governor on Agriculture, Abba Abdullahi revealed that the move to mechanise the sector, was borne out of government’s findings that agro productivity was low as a result of wrong agronomic practices, dearth of extension services, low budgetary allocation to agriculture, fragile ecosystems and low mechanisation.
He said before now, the state had about 1,175 tractors with only 837 of them in use.The SA who put the cost of the tractors at N1.6b, pointed out that while the launch is starting with 225 tractors, the state is aiming to supply 300 tractors annually for a period of four years to boost mechanisation.
“Each beneficiary is to acquire the tractor, after payment of 20 per cent of the total cost, while the 80 per cent will be made up by commercial banks through a loan to the Tractor Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN), to be paid back over a period of four years, at nine per cent interest rate,” Abdullahi stated.
Also speaking, Managing Director, Springfield Agro, Tarun Kumar Das explained that private sector investment in agriculture is the panacea to diversifying Nigeria’s economy.
On his part, Managing Director, Mahindra West Africa, Prasad Sane said the terminology-Farm to Folk, aims at making farming easier to the masses through the supply of affordable high-quality farming equipment and services, adding that the company is committed to making affordable and efficient tractors that will meet the farming needs.