The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has lamented the shortage of tractors in Nigeria when compared to farmers’ population and size of farm operations. The minister made this known on Tuesday, in Abuja while inaugurating the committees for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the federal government, participating, state governments and the China-Africa Machinery Corporation (CAMACO) on agricultural mechanisation system.
CAMACO is a venture funded by the China-African Development Fund (CADFund) as a strategic partnership built and developed between China and Africa, with the purpose of encouraging and supporting Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa.
Ogbeh said “there were less than 30,000 tractors in Nigeria and we should at least, have a million. He stated: “This partnership with CAMACO, is an attempt to catch up with our shortfalls in tractors and increase our mechanisation to make it easier for agriculture to take place. Increased mechanisation, is more important now that we are trying to encourage the Youth to embrace agriculture. This is a very important programme that has been on the drawing board.”
The programme, designed to increase Nigeria’s stock of tractors and improve on mechanisation through the supply of tractors to be assembled locally, would be implemented in Adamawa, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara states. The partnership, will involve credit partnership with farmers to obtain and pay over a period of seven to eight years at a single digit interest rate.