FG Says Nigeria Under-tractorised

... Chides John Deere over 2000 Tractors Delivery Delay

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… Chides John Deere over 2000 Tractors Delivery Delta

 

The federal government has said the country cannot achieve its goal of attaining food security if farmers continue to use primitive tools to farm. This, it says, is the reason the government cannot wait to have tractors delivered to the farmers as soon as possible. 

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, who disclosed this in Abuja during a meeting with John Deere, the agricultural equipment manufacturer, on agric mechanisation in Nigeria, said the government is committed to providing tractors for both small and large-scale farmers.

He however expressed discontent over the delay in the delivery of 2,000 tractors to improve mechanised farming for farmers in Nigeria.

The federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with John Deere in November 2023 for the supply of 2,000 tractors annually for the next five years. But after four months,  the tractors have not arrived in the country.

The visibly worried Minister said  that 500 of the tractors ought to have arrived in the country by now and wondered why the firm that is in charge has not been able to deliver.

“By now the first set of the tractors ought to be delivered to meet up with promises made to Nigerian farmers,” he said.

“Nigerians had been assured of the delivery of 2000 tractors in 2024, and by now we should have 500 tractors on ground.”

Speaking further, Senator Kyari said, “The only concern that I have and we have here at the ministry is that there seems to be a slow pace in some of the concepts that we have lined out.

“But here we are, we are a bit stuck in the mud and we want to run away from all the problems that we have encountered in the past. And if there are any naughty areas that we need to look at, we need to do it assiduously.”

He noted that there should be quick action on the delivery of the tractors as the wet season is fast approaching, adding that there is the need to quickly see the effect of the tractors for the benefit of farmers and the country at large.

He explained that to increase agricultural yields, there was the need for tractors, stressing that this was very important for ramping up the production of food.

“We are challenged as a nation and the land is shrinking, hence we need to increase yield. We are under-tractorised right now as a country.”

He said the federal government should be commended for the steps it has taken so far to make tractors available to Nigerian farmers.  

“I think this is the right step in the right direction. The federal government, under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu  has decided that this time this should work.”

In his response, the Managing Director, John Deere, Stephan Gouws, told the minister that access to finance had been the challenge confronting his company as regards the supply of the tractors.

 

“The aim is for mechanisation for higher yields. So the challenge that we see is that the yields are there but its sub optimal. So we have to increase those yields with the land we have. However, access to finance is the biggest stumbling block for us.”

 

Gouws noted that the goal of his firm was to increase yield and profitability using technology and training and expressed optimism in delivering the tractors once the last couple of hurdles were crossed.

He also highlighted their comprehensive support, which include  providing knowledge, information, and technical assistance to Nigeria’s agriculture sector.

 

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