Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, said the federal government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with John Deere, an agricultural machinery company, to enhance mechanised farming and food security in Nigeria
This was made known in a statement issued on Tuesday by the ministry’s Chief Information Officer, Eremah Anthonia, in Abuja.
According to the statement, the move is in furtherance of the Ministry’s production of 2000 tractors annually to enhance mechanised farming, boost food production, nutrition security, and job creation among others in the country.
“The Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, CON, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with John Deere, an Agricultural Machinery Company,” the statement said.
In his remarks, the minister reiterated that the event is a follow-up to the meeting between Nigeria’s Vice President Kashim Shettima and top officials of John Deere at the recent World Food Prize Foundation held in Iowa, USA.
Mr Kyari stated that the strategic partnership aims to establish a tractor plant in Nigeria and that it is a reflection of the Federal Government’s commitment to modernising agriculture and promoting self-sufficiency in food production.
He highlighted the multifaceted benefits of the initiative, including increased food production, employment opportunities and advancement in the nation’s food and nutrition.
Mr Kyari said John Deere (Asia Private Limited) has the experience and record, and that the company would train artisans on how to operate the Machinery.
“…when produced, the government would not off-take the tractors but provide the enabling environment to make the tractors affordable at low-interest rate to Nigerian farmers and boost all-year-round farming,” he said.
On his part, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ernest Umakhihe, stated that it was an epoch-making event and recalled what had led to it.
He said the federal government had engaged with John Deere to come to Nigeria to have an assembly plant to produce tractors for farmers at an affordable rate.
“Everyone is excited about it and to put pen to paper today is a realisation of that promise, getting the MoU signed, other activities would follow with implementation,” he said.
Mr Umakhihe added that the MoU was generic and would usher in more MoUs and guidelines on implementing the agreement reached.
In his remarks, the Vice President of John Deere, Jason Braintley noted that the agreement signifies a shared vision among the parties involved to scale up proven practices in Nigeria.
He emphasised the importance of matching the right implements with the right tractor in specific areas considering the diverse conditions across the country.
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