FG Tasks Local Fabricators On Production Of Agricultural Equipment | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG Tasks Local Fabricators On Production Of Agricultural Equipment

Posted: Sep 11, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chibuzor Emejor,

Abuja

Federal Government has tasked local fabricators to come up with locally produced agricultural equipment and machinery to promote indigenous technology as well as enhance food production in Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, Sonny Echono, gave this task at a meeting he held with members of the Tractors Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria (TOOAN) at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

Echono stated that government was interested in the benefits to be derived from mechanisation, hence the need for the establishment of additional 60 Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises (AEHEs) across the country.

He enumerated the benefits of AEHEs which include increased land under cultivation, improved yield and productivity, reduction in the amount of labour used and creation of jobs for the youths in the agricultural sector.

The Permanent Secretary explained that the programme was structured towards increasing the mechanisation facilities in the country with 15per cent local content of tractors accessories to be achieved within three years and assured of his ministry readiness to partner with the Association.

He approved the request of TOOAN for the release of tractors for four centres namely Kebbi, Niger, Nasarawa and Oyo states, while also imploring the Association to prepare their members for a special training at no cost to TOOAN since the next phase of the mechanisation programme would involve tracking of equipment before release.

Earlier in his remarks, the National President, Tractor Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria (TOOAN), Bitrus Elesha said the Association has the technical capacity to provide land clearing, seed planting, chemical application and harvesting services if supported with machinery and equipment.

Elesha commended the Federal Government’s sustainable mechanisation intervention programme, saying “mechanisation service providers never had it so good; the programme should please be sustained.”

The TOOAN President however pointed out that successful and sustainable agricultural mechanisation cannot be achieved through continued importation of farm machinery; hence the need for indigenous manufacturing of farm machinery suitable for Nigeria crops and soil condition.

He further solicited continued partnership between TOOAN and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.