FG to acquire 10,000 tractors through PPP
As part of its deliberate policy to promote mechanized agriculture in the country, the federal government has entered an agreement with John Deere tractors manufacturers to acquire 10,000 tractors through Public Private Partnership Programme.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, made this known at a meeting with the management of John Deere NAMEL International in Abuja .
Ogbeh said the programme which will span 5 years, will assist the small holder farmers to have access to tractors through Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprise, AEHE, while the service- provider will manage, service the tractor and hire them out to farmers at subsidized price.
He said the programme which has received the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari, include purchase of tractors, combined harvesters for grains, sugar cane and special training of the operators.
“We need the tractors with life span of about 15 years to get value for money, in effort to feed the country’s population.”
The minister urged John Deere Tractors to work towards a single digit interest rate so as to assist Nigerian farmers achieve food security.
In his address, the President of John Deere Tractors overseeing Africa, Asia and Europe, Mr. Mark Von Pence, said Nigeria is a big and highly populated nation of about 200 million people with a lot of opportunity and challenges in feeding projected 300 million population in the next 10 years.
Von Pence argue that the country can only surmount this challenge if it imbibes mechanized agriculture.
“We are looking forward to partner with Nigeria because we believed in Nigeria and we are ready to work together to take Nigeria agriculture to a greater height,” he said.
In his remark, the Managing Director of John Deere Tractors, Mr. Jason Brantley while giving brief insight into the company’s activities said John Deere has been in Africa for more than 30 years; assuring that the company has the competence and experience to help the country attain national food security.
He assured the country of a comprehensive partnership that will benefit the country and help it achieve food security in no distant time.