As part of its efforts to boost food production in the country, the Federal Government has disclosed that it targets local production of 2,000 tractors annually.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, when the Vice-President of John Deere Ltd.(a tractor manufacturing company), Mr Jason Brantley, paid him a courtesy visit to Abuja on Friday.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Ezeaja Ikemefuna, Assistant Director of Information in the ministry.
Kyari noted that the initiative to begin local production of tractors would not only bolster food security but also create jobs for farmers, especially women and youths and enhance food and nutrition security.
The minister made the declaration when the Vice-President of John Deere Ltd. (a tractor manufacturing company), Mr Jason Brantley, paid him a courtesy visit.
Kyari noted that the visit was a follow-up to a meeting between Nigeria’s Vice-President Kashim Shettima and top officials of John Deere Ltd. at the Oct. 24 World Food Prize Foundation Day held in Lowa, U.S.A.
Kyari stated that the Federal Government would not buy the tractors, instead, it would provide the enabling environment to make them affordable by farmers on loan at low-interest rates to bolster year-round farming.
The minister further explained that farmers would have to form clusters or cooperatives to enable them to buy the tractors to facilitate mechanised farming, adding that payments could be made in instalments.
In his remarks, Brantley disclosed the company was exploring the possibility of tractor hiring or acquisition or local production, backed with after-sales services, supply of genuine spare parts and training of operators and mechanics.
According to the top executive of John Deere Ltd., the tractors would have a capacity ranging between 75 horsepower and 90 horsepower for use in different terrains.
Recall that in October, Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government disclosed the intention of John Deere Ltd., an American tractor manufacturing firm, to set up a tractor assembly plant in Nigeria.
Vice President Kashim Shettima and top officials of John Deere Ltd. had met at the Oct. 24 World Food Prize Foundation Day held in lowa, United States to discuss how to realise the goal of establishing the assembly plant in Nigeria.
This meeting between the Federal Government and officials of the American tractor manufacturing firm was facilitated by the Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria, Mr John Coumantaros, according to the press releases from the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity in the office of the Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha.
Mr Brantley had said that the endeavour to set up a tractor assembly plant would not necessitate any government investment, but would need credit guarantees to facilitate access to affordable credit for interested individuals or groups in the endeavour.