The Federal Government has disclosed of distributing 10, 000 tractors and inputs to farmers ahead of this year’s planting season to boost productivity and supply of food to Nigerians. The disclosure was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Nanono, in Jigawa State, during a courtesy visit to the palace of the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, at the weekend. According to Nanono, the Federal Government will continue to put in the effort to ensure more tractors get to farmers across the country in order to achieve the diversification plan, which farmers will receive farm inputs including fertilisers, chemicals and other inputs under a special soft loan scheme designed to boost agricultural mechanization. He said: “Farmers in each of the 774 Local Government Areas through their Councils would be allocated tractors worth N150,000 million each and inputs as soft loan to be repaid in an 11-year plan. “What we need is that the beneficiaries must be genuine farmers and indigenes of the participating Local Government Councils. This gesture is to assist farmers to boost their production capacity so that the government could mop up excess produce for strategic reserves. “The Federal Government would commence implementation of the programme in the second quarter of the year 2020.”
The Minister also maintained that government remains resolute to accelerated production along the cotton, rice paddy and livestock value chains to increase food production, security, employment, profit, Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, foreign direct investment, and others in the sector. Meanwhile, the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, represented by Alhaji Basiru Sanusi, commended the effort of the Buhari-led administration in the agricultural sector and was excited over the gesture of the government to give 10, 000 tractors to farmers including other farm input. The Emir also told the Minister that his council had set up a committee to mobilize farmers in his emirate for full and active participation in agricultural programmes such as this. “When we heard about the federal government’s plans to give soft loans to farmers in the 774 local government areas, we set up an awareness creation committee to mobilize participation in the programme. “The committee would identify suitable crop in each of the seven local government areas under the Dutse Emirate Council and we will support the Federal Government’s policies and programmes in the sector”, he said.