In Nigeria, the Government of Katsina State on Friday said it has signed a pact with Mahindra Group to purchase 225 tractors worth N2bn ($5.8million). This aims to boost food production in the state.
According to the Deputy Governor of the state, Mannir Yakubu, the tractors would be distributed to farmers on a loan basis.
He said under the agreement, the state government in collaboration with the Nigeria Incentive Based Risk-sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and Access Bank will serve as guarantor and would provide the sum of N1.6 billion ($4.7 million) while “the 225 benefitting farmers will provide N400 million ($1.1 million), which will serve as their 20% contribution, before collecting the tractors.”
“The company has supplied the tractors through its agent, Spring Field Agro Nigeria Ltd., based in Ibadan. The tractor scheme we are launching today will be in phases, and we intend to procure about 361 tractors on the long run, which will translate to one tractor for each ward in the state. The scheme is in partnership with Spring Field Agro Ltd., as the vendors, Machindra Company of India, the manufacturers while the Tractors Owners and Operators of Nigeria (TOOAN),will serve as obligators,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, Abba Abdullah, the Special Adviser to Governor on Agricultural Development, stated that the goal of the new tractor policy is to stimulate mechanized farming in the state.
He added that the tractors would only operate within the state, so as to avoid past mistakes. “The company has installed a tracking device that will prevent the tractors from being taken out of the state,’’ he added.