Nigeria and Brazil are to partner on the supply and distribution of 10,000 tractors to farmers across the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar,made this known at the opening of Africa’s Agricultural Machines and Equipment Technology Expo in Abuja.
Abubakar said the partnership aimed to fast track the mechanisation of the Agricultural sector, improve production, boost economy, enhance food self-sufficiency and create job opportunity for Nigerian youths.
He said that the purpose of the expo was also to expose African Farmers to cost- effective farm machines , new farming technologies, to increase foreign direct investments, as well as create business among farm products, producers and processors.
This, the minister said, is in tandem with Agricultural Policy of the Government.
He said it was also a clarion call to bring succour to the drudgery nature of Nigeria’s farm practices in order to encourage the teeming youths to embrace the agricultural sector.
He said that the expo was an avenue for exchange of cultural values which would attract needed capital into Africa’s farm sector.
Abubakar said this would bring about close interaction with experts in Agricultural Engineering field such as farm power and machinery, irrigation (soil and water engineering, and storage of Agricultural products in commercial quantity.
He pledged that the forum would go a long way to establish a knowledge and business sharing platform with a view to identifying a global investment opportunities and risk.
The minister added that this would also translate into an increased production and quality level of African farm harvest.
” The quest for food self- sufficiency cannot be achieved using the old method of rudimentary tools,” he said.
He urged farmers to grab the new technologies and innovations in order to do exploits in farm practices.
Abubakar said that the partnership with Brazilian would ensure the provision of 10,000 units of tractors,50,000 units of assorted implements and equipment, 142 turnkey factories for Agro Processing as well as training of the project beneficiaries for over a period of five years.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umahkike, represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Mr Abdullahi Garuba said that the Expo was meant to expose Africa’s farmers to latest innovation in technology across the value chain.
“Agriculture in Nigeria contributed about 33 per cent to Gross Domestic Product and engage a large number of our working force in farming,” he said.
He said that Agricultural Expo would contribute to the advance processing of agricultural raw materials, promote the growth of agro-industrial section and export of food products that are made in Nigeria.
The Expo featured display of various Agricultural equipment by different agricultural and allied manufactures.(NAN)