By AbdulSalam Muhammad
KANO â€” China, Russia and Iran are to establish a tractor assembly plant in Nigeria as part of the agreement reached with the Federal Government for the supply of 18 thousand tractors within the next three years.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr Abba Sayyadi Ruma who revealed this in a speech at the launch of the private sector-led Community Cooperative Tractor Hiring Services in Kano, said the assembly plant would be floated after the initial orders of 500-1000units.
Ruma explained that under the arrangement, China would supply 10,000, while Russia and Iran would supply 4,000 tractors each to boost the existing 40,000.
The minister who was represented by Chairman, Board of Directors of Hadejia Jamâ€™are River Basin Development Authority, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhktar, saidÂ the proposed plant would kick off with semi knocked down parts before graduating to assembling completely knocked down parts.
Ruma said local substitution and local manufacturing of tractors as well as the implements would commence within the next five years, stressing that the arrangement is envisaged to bring down the unit cost of tractor in the country.
“This arrangement is expected to bring down the unit cost of tractors and implements thereby enhancing affordability, reducing downtime arising from lack of spare parts, and facilitating timely, efficient and effective farm operations,” Ruma said.
The minister expressed optimism that the plants would bring about job opportunities, pointing out that very soon the country will be able to satisfy her needs and export excesses.
He said the Federal Government had between 2006/2007 procured 1880 units of tractors that were sold to farmers and other agriculturally related agencies at 25 per cent subsidy.