The Bank of Agriculture in Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have signed a N3.5bn financing pact. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ministry and the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) will be for the procurement of 400 tractors for farmers under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, that will see improve agricultural productivity and production in Nigeria.
In his word the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said that the era when farmers in Nigeria toy endlessly with babies strap on their backs under the sun and rain using toes and knives for cultivation of their farmlands are fast coming to an end.
Under the deal worth N3.5 billion, tractors are to be supplied to 60 centres across the country, where farmers who have been registered and identified can hire for the cultivation of farmlands. This is expected to reduce the stress associated with manual farming methods and also attract the youth back agriculture and upscale food production in the country.
Adeshina said: “The MoU will form the basis for establishing Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises to be equipped with 400 units of tractors that all help to put up an additional 152,000 hectares of land under cultivation, expected to add 760,000 tons of food to our national output per annum. The financing will be done through public private Partnership (PPP) as BOA has undertaken to finance the interested Service provider operators
Commenting on the partnership, the Managing Director of BOA, Dr. Mohammed Santuraki said the partnership waste outcome of the rejuvenated BOA which capital base has been raised to N15 billion and declared that the bank was now poised to play its role of providing access to agro allied activities financing, particularly in such a way as to diversify labour to other areas that could facilitate the country’s earnings and growth.