The Punch

Nigeria, Brazil plan assembling 77,400 tractors – Senate panel chair

- Sunday Aborisade, Abuja

THe Federal government has signed an agreement with some Brazilian firms to establish tractors’ assembly plants in Nigeria.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Agricultur­e and rural Developmen­t, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, disclosed this in an interview with our correspond­ent in Abuja.

He said the Federal Ministry of Agricultur­e, with the support of the regime of the President, Major general Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had secured funding from the islamic Bank to accelerate the process.

Adamu, who was a two-term governor of Nasarawa State, added that the plan was aimed at allocating at least 10 tractors to each of the 774 local government areas of the country.

He also said that a service centre would be establishe­d in all the council areas where young people would be trained on how to handle the tractors and how to carry out some basic maintenanc­e on the equipment.

He said, “Because of the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administra­tion to boost food production through agricultur­e, the Federal Ministry of agricultur­e has come up with a programme to make tractors available to all farmers in Nigeria.

“By this programme, some Brazilian firms are being contacted to come to Nigeria with support from islamic Bank so that the companies would bring into Nigeria, completely knocked down parts of tractors which would be assembled in Nigeria.

“Assembly plants for the tractors would be cited in Nigeria. There will be service centres in each of the 774 local government areas in the country.

“each centre will oversee the number of tractors that are allocated to each local government and there would be at least 10 in each local government area.

“There will also be training of the youths on how to handle the tractors and the basic maintenanc­e of the equipment.

“it is hoped that once we are done with the installati­on in the 774 Lgas, it will give a new lease of life to agricultur­e and the young men and women will be the major beneficiar­ies because it would provide job opportunit­ies.”

Adamu also stressed the need for farmers to add value to their crops by investing in techniques that would enable them to preserve their produce.

He said, “every crop has a value chain which is what you do to preserve it and add value to it from the day it is harvested up to the time it goes to the table if it is a food crop or up to the time it goes to the factory if it is an industrial crop.

“Just like mechanisat­ion, preservati­on is still at a preliminar­y stage. What the government is talking about now is the issue of value addition to get farmers to appreciate the fact that they have to add value.”

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