The Bank of Agriculture has signed an agreement with the Agriculture Ministry.
The Bank of Agriculture is collaborating with six tractor companies in Nigeria to procure 400 tractors and other farming implements for mechanised farming.
The Managing Director of the bank, Mohammed Santuraki, stated this on Friday in Kaduna when he visited one of the tractor companies, Tak Continental Limited.
He said that the bank had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to access N3.6 billion for mechanised farming in the country. He said the bank would also inject 35 per cent of the amount as its contribution while the 80 service support centres to be established would also make contributions.
Mr. Santuraki said the bank would build a vendor financier relationship with the tractor companies, to supply tractors and other services to the support stations. He explained that the new stations would offer tractors services and other technical support to farmers at reasonable cost.
The managing director said the overall objective was to increase productivity and food security in the country, make agriculture more attractive, and help to reduce the cost of farm labour.
“It is shameful that 60 per cent of Nigerians are engaged in agriculture, yet the country imports 12 billion dollars worth of food every year,” he said.
Mr. Santuraki said mechanised farming would cut down on the numbers of Nigerians in agriculture, who could make more useful contributions in other sectors of the economy.
“The programme is targeted at people who are experienced in this line of business. It is not a political jamboree we want to support agriculture as a business that is viable and sustainable,” he said.
He commended TAK for its support to Nigeria’s “critical economic sector”.