FG Restates Commitment to Agric Mechanization 

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The federal government has said its commitment to agricultural mechanization goes beyond mere technological advancement, but about empowering the farmers with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to succeed in their farm businesses and to meet the global market demand. 

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari who made this assertion at the opening of a special Agro-equipment expo in Abuja on Tuesday,  said mechanized agriculture holds the key to unlocking the full potential of the agricultural sector, empowering farmers, and transforming rural communities.

The exhibition was organised by Eurobase Consulting Limited in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

The minister who was represented by a director in the Ministry, Engr. Gagare Nadungu noted that a country blessed with vast and fertile land with human resources, Agriculture should be the backbone of the Nigerian  economy, employing millions of Nigerians and contributing significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). “But that is not happening because the sector is faced with numerous challenges, ranging from low productivity, post-harvest losses, and limited access to modern farming techniques and equipment,” he said.

While commending the organisers for the choice of theme which is “Sustainable Food Security and Agro Produce Export Through Mechanization”, the minister said that underscores the importance of embracing technology-driven solutions to enhance productivity, improve efficiency, and ensure food and nutrition security for all Nigerians.

He said this is the time to break down barriers, facilitate cross-border cooperation and partnerships, and leverage on technologies in unlocking the full potential of the agricultural sector.

“Diversifying our economy does not happen overnight. It requires strategic 

planning and conscious investments in agriculture and agribusinesses, nurturing small and medium enterprises, and creating an enabling environment that fosters innovation within and across borders,” the minister said.

“Today’s event organized by Eurobase Consulting Limited in collaboration with the Ministry provides a platform for stakeholders from across the agricultural value chain to be informed of the latest advancements in agricultural machinery, equipment, and technologies that will be showcased. Ranging from tractors and harvesters to irrigation systems and solar precision farming tools, the innovations displayed here have the potential to revolutionize the way we do farm business and produce food in Nigeria.

“As we celebrate the resilience and ingenuity of our private sector, let us also remember that our success is intertwined with our commitment to sustainable practices and social responsibility. Let us prioritize inclusivity and ensure that the benefits of our economic progress reach every segment of society. 

“To this end, I urge all stakeholders to use this opportunity to exchange ideas, forge partnerships, and chart a course for a more prosperous and resilient agricultural sector. Let us work together to harness the transformative power of agricultural mechanization to ensure food and nutrition security, alleviate poverty, and drive sustainable development across Nigeria.”

Earlier in his welcome address,  the Managing Director, Eurobase Africa, Don Ekesiobi, said Eurobase is local partner/country representatives to 20 international Agro Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) from Israel, India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, USA, Brazil, Holland, noting that by this association, the company has become an agro equipment conglomerate or one stop shop for agro equipment , farm technology and consultancy.

He said in order to boost Sustainable Agro production and food security, the company carefully selected 10 among its foreign partners with good global impactful track record that can propel the development of the Nigerian Agricultural business sector. 

According to him, “These companies have contributed in executing agro projects in different western and Asian countries that are self-sufficient in food production and have high volume of Exported Agro produce. We brought them to replicate the same Multi-Billion dollar agro business in Nigeria. We hope that Nigeria will seize the opportunity and engage them since they covered all areas of agriculture.

The Eurobase boss in a special way requests for a serious government partnership with Eurobase on its mechanization drive effort, noting that this collaboration will bring a quantum leap in food production, eliminate sharp practices by portfolio contractors who deceive the ministry with multiple companies and buy back subsidized equipment meant to reach the poor smallholder farmers in the rural area.

“Our second prayer is that all farm equipment, processing equipment, inputs and implements be exempted from all forms of taxes, import duties, VAT and other levies at least for two years.

“The Standard organization should exempt all son-cap fees paid overseas for every equipment coming to Nigeria. Agro equipment should be exempted on such fees. “For now Nigeria is yet to become investment destination as it use to be in the 70s and 80s, therefore we pray that agro equipment, Crop Bio Stimulants, Insecticide, crop water retention agent and other crop base food should be exempted from NAFDAC registration fees including the imposed $11,000 Dollars for NAFDAC Visit to oversea parent company which local company are forced to pay. 

“These bottlenecks should be removed for local investment to be revived. Otherwise local investment will continue to move to other African countries where such fees are like a taboo.”

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