As part of efforts to speed up it mechanization programme in the agriculture sector, the federal government has revealed it would receive the first batch of tractors out of the 10,000 tractors expected from Brazil under the Green Imperative Project.
The federal government signed a $1.2 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Development Bank of Brazil for agriculture mechanisation in Nigeria.
The government intends to improve agriculture mechanization and set up modern agro centers across the country with the credit facility.
Addressing journalists in his office on Friday during the Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the 2021 World Food Day with the Theme: Our Actions are our Future. Better production, Better nutrition, a Better environment and a Better life, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, said the Green Imperative programme which is expected to address the long standing agricultural mechanization problem is underway.
According to him, the programme would ensure adequate supply of tractors and other implements to farmers on a public private partnership arrangement. The model adopted is sustainable and would ameliorate the low production challenge due to lack of sufficient machineries.
Abubakar also said the Federal Government has lifted a total of 4,205,576 Million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
He said that it was achieved through the Ministry’s strategic policies and programmes and by extension the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 of the President Muhammadu Buhari led Government, which sees agriculture as the alternative to oil for meaningful economic diversification.Dr. Mahmood Abubakar stated that ‘’the ERGP envisage that investment in agriculture can guarantee food security, have the potential to be a major contributor to job creation, and will save foreign exchange required for food imports.
The Minister stated that “our various empowerment initiatives along production, processing and marketing of agricultural commodities we have lifted a total of 4,205,576 Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years. This is going to continue as part of Mr. Presidents promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years.”.
In his remarks, FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Fred Kafeero, said that “everyone of us has a role to play in ending hunger by changing the way we produce, adding value to our food products, making food choices that improve our health; and by reducing wastage and loss of our food.”