FG targets 960,000 tractors acquisition in eight years

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The Federal Government has set a target of acquiring 960,000 tractors within the next eight years to boost sustainable Agricultural programmes in the country.

This was part of the key objectives of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh recently signed MoU with Brazil on Protocol of Intention for Nigeria to access Agricultural mechanization credit under the More Food International Programme.

The minister, who recently led a Nigeria delegation to Brazil for the Nigeria-Brazil bilateral meetings, also signed the Protocol of Intention for Nigeria’s membership of More Food International.

The key objectives of  More Food International membership for Nigeria includes up-scaling the country’s agricultural development programme in order to boost food productivity, improve food security, expand job growth and ultimately boost household income.

According to the minister, key element of that process is to intensify the degree of mechanization of Nigeria’s agriculture from tractors to harvesters to processors.

In addition to equipment support, the ministry explained that Nigeria requires additional technical and service expertise, “as well as training and support to unlock the full potential of its technology investments”.

In a statement issued by Aishat Ayijimoh Onusi, Adviser on New Media to the minister said: “The anticipated support entails executing an ambitious programme that is expected to add over 120,000 tractors and related equipment per annum for the next 5 to 8 years in Nigeria, develop deep collaboration between Nigerian and Brazilian industry to deliver and use appropriate technologies to improve productivity in crops such as rice, cassava, cocoa, wheat, soya beans, and maize, sugar cane, tomatoes etc”.

The bilateral meeting was a follow up to on-going negotiations to consider Nigeria’s request, to join the More Food International Programme offered to African countries by Brazil for technology and technical support through a government to government machinery credit facility.

The request was submitted last year by the Hon. Minister – Chief Audu Ogbeh after successive deliberations and visits.

In addition to equipment support, Nigeria requires additional technical and service expertise, as well as training and support to unlock the full potential of its technology investments.

Welcoming the delegation to the Special Secretariat of Agrarian Development (SEAD) and Family Farming of Brazil Headquarters in Brasilia,  the Deputy Secretary, Mr. Jefferson Coriteac stated:  “We are very excited by the efforts Nigeria is currently making to develop its agriculture sector and we consider this important meeting a special moment in promoting a good partnership for the development of Africa” while the Managing Director, More Food International, Mr. Guilherme Martinelle who was also present at the meeting  added: “We welcome Nigeria to partner in the field of food production and family farming, access to technologies, agricultural equipment and knowledge sharing.

“We are happy that Brazil is willing to lend a helping hand to African in the area of agricultural development and your willingness to share your experiences with Nigeria, having been where we are today as a nation. We assure you that we will judiciously execute the support we get and repay every credit on and ahead of schedule. Our Agricultural Lending Risk management is here represented by the MD of NIRSAL to help analyse the risk factors and ensure we are doing the right thing”,Ogbeh told the meeting.

Also contributing to the discussions, Managing Director, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL),Mr. Aliyu Abdulhammed said:  “Our work in Nigeria’s Agricultural lending risk management is tailored in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy – The Green Alternative and we are here to advise on financial risks and analysis of agricultural funding management.”

According to the statement, highpoint of the meeting was the signing of The Protocol of Intention of Nigeria to Join More Food International which the Hon Minister.

Chief Audu Ogbeh signed on behalf of Nigeria while Mr. Jefferson Coriteac, Deputy Secretary of the Special Secretariat of Agrarian Development,SEAD, and Family Farming signed on behalf of Brazil.

By the signing, the SEAD has undertaken to advance Nigeria’s application to the next meeting of More Foods Technical Group and to facilitate the formal admittance of Nigerian into the Programme

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