From Okwe Obi, Abuja 

The federal government has revealed that 500 tractors assembled by the John Deere Group would be received to improve mechanized farming, increase production..

According to the government, the initiative is to encourage farming activities and fortify the nation’s food and nutrition security in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s emergency declaration on food security.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, in a statement by an Assistant Director, Ezeaja Ikemefuna, in the ministry, stated that John Deere would deliver 500 tractors by the end of May and the rest in September 2024. Kyari assured Nigerians that the group would achieve the set target of 2,000 tractors yearly for the next five years as signed in Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry.

He explained that to increase agricultural yields, there was a need for tractors, stressing that this was very important for growth in the agric sector.

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He reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to improve food and nutrition security through mechanization, adding that the tractors would be accessible, available, and affordable for small, large-scale, and cooperative farmers across the country. 

He, also, revealed that the Government had procured 58,500 tons of milled rice from Rice Millers Association of Nigeria for stabilization of the market force  “what we did not want to do, was to get to market and purchase food stuff, we have appealed to World Food Programme (WFP), which is a United Nation’s based Agency, not to make bulk purchase from the market so as not to exacerbate the food price inflation that we have now’’, the minister added.  

On the recently released fertilizer by the CBN to FMAFS, the Minister stated that the release of 2.15 million bags of assorted fertilizer ranging from NPK, UREA and SSP, worth over N100  Billion Naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Nigeria farmers was to enhance agricultural production.

He added that the apex Bank’s contribution would increase food production capabilities as well as encourage price stabilization in the agricultural sector.

He revealed that the ministry had received the handing over letter and would commence the distribution of the various assorted fertilizers as soon as locations where they are warehoused is made available to the ministry.