The Minister of Â Â Agriculture, Prof. SheikhÂ Â Abdallah, has said that modernisation of agriculture remained the only way to achieve sustainable food security in the country.
Abdallah stated this last weekÂ in Dutse during the launching of the Jigawa Tractorisation Project under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
He stressed that food security would be achieved if agricultural practice was mechanised and talented young Nigerians fully enagaged in the business.
He said recent records indicated that Nigeria had about 40,000 units of tractors half of which were not functional, as against the estimated requirement of 1.5 million units.
He blamed the failure of the past administration on budgetary constraints, inadequate repairs and maintenance of facilities, inadequate entrepreneurial ability and the lack of transparency.
He said the introduction of the PPP by the Federal Government was designed to enable farmers access machinery for crop production at affordable rates and in good time.
The minister also said that the scheme was targeted to increase the tractor density to 10,000 tractors and implements every three years.
According to him, the Federal Government has provided 25 per cent subsidy on the cost of each tractor and commended the Jigawa Government for providing an additional 25 per cent subsidy.
In his remark, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Nasidi Ali, said that the 160 tractors to be distributed to farmers in the state would include disc harrow, disc plough and trailers.