FG Seeks Local Manufacturing Of Agricultural Machinery
THE Federal Government has challenged local fabricators to come up with locally fabricated agricultural equipment and machinery to promote indigenous technology.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, Arc. Sonny Echono made this call during a meeting held with members of the Tractors Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria (TOOAN) at the ministry’s headquarters.
Echono stated that government was interested in the benefits to be derived from mechanization, hence the need for additional implements. He said the benefits must 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 mechanization programme was structured towards increasing the mechanization facilities in the country with 15 per cent local content of tractors’ accessories to be achieved within three years and assured of his ministry readiness to partner with the association.
He however, 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 mechanization programme would involve tracking of equipment before release.
Earlier in his remark, the National President, (TOOAN), Engr. 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 Federal Government’s sustainable mechanization intervention programme, saying “mechanization service providers never had it so good, the programme should please be sustained.”
The TOOAN President, however, advised that successful and sustainable agricultural mechanization couldn’t be achieved through continued importation of farm machinery. He called for indigenous manufacturing of farm machinery suitable for Nigerian crops and soil condition.
He solicited for the continued partnership between TOOAN and FMARD.