By Gabriel Ewepu & Tochukwu Maxwell
THE Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), has entered into collaboration with the Nigeria Agriculture Mechanization and Equipment Leasing Company (NAMEL) to provide 10,000 tractors for both small and large scale farmers in Nigeria.
The collaboration is targeted at increasing agricultural output for domestic consumption and export.
It would also give birth to the Private Sector Driven Agriculture Mechanization Programme (PSDAMP), which is structured to deploy high quality mechanization equipment, finance expertise, mechanization extension and capacity building services using an equipment leasing model (ELM).
Speaking during the signing of the agreement between the FMARD and NAMEL in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, expressed optimism that the partnership would enable the agricultural sector to become finance-generating.
He stated that the partnership, which had already secured the approval of the federal government, would also make sure the equipment are well taken care of, adding that people will be trained on how to handle the tractors and the project.
Ogbeh stated that the partnership is not just a business, but aimed at eradicating poverty in local communities and villages.
He said, “It is high time that an end be put to people who destroy the agricultural sector by selling fake farm producing products, such like wrong seeds, fertilizers, and chemicals. The Federal Government is ready to ensure that farmers are served the right type of tractor and the right type of seed for good productivity.”
Also speaking, Ahmed Adekunle, Programme Officer, NAMEL said the programme is mostly made for the youth, noting that every 1,000 hectares of land which is open and developed would be giving to the youths, three hectare each or four hectares.