Olaleye Aluko, Abuja
The Federal Government has said the country needs more than 100,000 new tractors to achieve production targets in the nation’s agricultural sector.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, stated this while speaking at the inauguration of the Higher Institution Tractorisation Initiative in Abuja.
The initiative is a joint agreement on Nigeria Agricultural Mechanisation Local Content Support Initiative between the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and a firm, Hightech System Limited.
The minister, who was represented by the Director, Economic Growth, Kayode Obasa, said the government could not afford to continue the importation of agricultural equipment.
He said, “The Federal Government has made agriculture one of the six key priority sectors under the Economic Recovery Growth Plan. For the objectives of the agricultural policy to be achieved, the mechanisation of the subsectors has a vital role to play. Based on the alternative estimates, Nigeria needs to add over 100,000 tractors as equipment over the coming five to eight years in order to achieve its production targets.
“Production, maintenance and access to equipment are all areas that require attention. This is why we welcome the private sector-led Higher Institution Tractorisation Initiative. The government intervention plan is targeted at propelling Nigeria back to the sustainable accelerated development in the medium plan to 2020. In our efforts to diversify the economy, the present administration recognises the strategic role of agriculture in national development.”
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