THE Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), has entered into partnership with John Deere, the US major agricultural company and tractors manufacturers, to acquire about 10,000 tractors through Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme to promote mechanised agriculture in Nigeria said the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh. This was disclosed in the Nigeria’s capital Abuja during a meeting and MOU documentation with the management of John Deere/NAMEL International.
The agreement makes it possible for Nigeria Agriculture Mechanization and Equipment Leasing Company (NAMEL) in collaboration with John Deere to provide 10,000 tractors for both small and large scale farmers in Nigeria. The partnership is targeted at increasing Nigeria’s agricultural output for internal usage, consumption and export market.
The President of John Deere Tractors for Africa, Asia and Europe, Mark Von Pence, said Nigeria with her population of almost 200 million, vast land, highly populated nation had a lot of opportunities and challenges in feeding itself. With the projected increase in population towards 300 million mark in a decade’s time, Nigeria need to be prepared in overcoming the challenges ahead and mechanisation is one of the major solution.
“We look forward to partnering with Nigeria, because, we believe in Nigeria and we are ready to work together to take Nigeria agriculture to a greater height.”
Part of the agreement execution is for John Deere to set up assembling plants for tractors in the country which will create employment within the industry. The tractors would be delivered through 2,500 Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises (AEHE) across the country.
The strategy and partnership will established a new structured platform to deploy high quality mechanisation equipment, mechanisation extension, finance expertise packages and capacity building services using an equipment leasing model (ELM) under the Private Sector Driven Agriculture Mechanization Programme (PSDAMP).
Mr. Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development speaking during the signing of the agreement between the FMARD and NAMEL showed gratitude and optimism that Nigeria will benefits from the partnership which would enable the agricultural sector to be self-sustaining and generates its own financial independency. The partnership had already secured the approval of the federal government. Part of the policies is the capacity to make sure the equipment are well maintained, farmers trained and the general aspect of the project implemented. There are inclusion for the purchase of combined harvesters for grains, tractors with at least a life span of 15 years and sugar cane.
The Minister 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.”
The Programme Executive of the NAMEL, Dr. Ahmed Adekunle, said the programme has taken years to garner all the necessary agreements, methodology and practicalities needed to make it work according to international standard.
“We focus this mostly on the emerging people, youths going into the agricultural industry and business. About 3 to 4 hectares of land will be provided to youths out of every 1,000 hectares of land which is open”. Added Mr. Adekunle