In its quest to promote the nation’s agricultural dream, Tractor Owners and Hiring Facilities Association of Nigeria (TOHFAN) disclosed that the country is in dere need of mechanisation requirements to boost food sufficiency.
National Chairman of the Association, Alhaji Danladi Garba said in an interview that the country needs between 70,000 and 100,000 functional tractors to effectively work on about 34 million hectares of land already under cultivation.
He also revealed that the functional tractors meant to provide services to farmers at any given time was on the extremely low side, with an appalling number of less than 7,000 working tractors to carry out agricultural duties.
Stressing further, Garba divulged that the association had about 28,000 bookings for cultivation services from farmers, but was only able to provide services to 7,000 farmers in the year 2018.
He maintained that the delay was due to inadequate number of tractors in the country.
“Currently, we have 552 tractors. We are in 31 states across the country.
“Farmers are requesting services from us, but we are not able to provide the services.
“As at 2018, we had 28,000 bookings by farmers; but we were able to provide services to only 7,000 because of inadequate number of tractors in the country.
“We have 34 million hectares under cultivation; if Nigeria can become a food secure country, we need between 70,000 to 100,000 tractors.
“Looking at the number we have now, we cannot take care of the requests that come into our platform because the penetration level of tractors in our country is less than seven tractors in a radius of 100 square km,’’ he added.
The national chairman also disclosed the association’s intention to acquire between 200 and 400 tractors to add to its fleet, so as to enable it meet farmers yearnings s for mechanisation before the end of April.
Garba was also confident that the association and the Agricultural Mechanisation and Equipment Leasing Company (NAMEL) had laid plans on track to procure additional 200 tractors for the association.
This, he said, would help the association to provide services to farmers, especially in the forthcoming wet season farming.