The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari has revealed that the ministry will facilitate the production of 2000 tractors annually within the country, to boost mechanised farming and, resultantly, food production in the country.
The primary objective is to amplify food production, generate employment opportunities for Nigerian farmers, particularly women and youth, and achieve comprehensive food and nutrition security.
During a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja, Kyari welcomed a delegation from John Deere, headed by its vice president, Jason Braintley, alongside the chairman and directors of Flour Mills Nigeria, as well as the country director of Tata Africa Services.
The minister highlighted that this visit follows up on discussions between Nigeria’s vice president, Ibrahim Shettima and top officials of John Deere at the recent World Food Prize Foundation event in Iowa, USA. He emphasised that once the tractors are produced, the government will not only make them available but also create a conducive environment to ensure their affordability at a low interest rate for Nigerian farmers, promoting year-round farming.
Kyari stressed the importance of farmers forming clusters or cooperatives to facilitate mechanisation access and installment payments over a few years.
Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Aliyu Abudullahi emphasised the necessity of evaluating existing cooperatives and determining the support needed for them to access the tractors when they become available. He also underscored the importance of identifying crops most suitable for mechanisation.
Braintley revealed that the company is exploring the feasibility of hiring, acquisition and production. This includes after-sales services, the supply of genuine spare parts and the training of operators and mechanics. The tractors’ capacity is expected to range between 75 and 90 horsepower, suitable for deployment across diverse terrains in the country.