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FG pledges to support farmers with mechanised equipment, aid food security

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The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has re-assured farmers of the Federal Government’s commitment to supporting mechanized equipment to promote Agricultural development for a sustainable economy.

Abubakar gave this assurance at the maiden edition of the West Africa Agro-Fair 2022 conference organized by Afrinex West Africa Limited in collaboration with various stakeholders on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of the 3-day event is “Promoting Sustainable Economic Development through Mechanised Agriculture.

The minister stressed that the event targeted at promoting mechanization and funding of Agriculture, creating new markets and partnerships for exhibitors subsequently promoting agricultural development for sustainable economic development.

“It also complements President Muhammadu Buhari’s action plan on food security, economic development, and job creation.

”This will avail participants with the opportunity to introduce their products and services, make contacts with leading Agricultural manufacturers across the world, and platform for new engagements.

“It will drive Investment into the Agricultural sector, provide an opportunity for youths and improve national economic growth for families,” he said.

According to him, it is pertinent to note that there is a nexus between technological growth and food security.

“Modern technological food equipment is meant to provide efficiency in production and processing, while Nigerian farmers have used rudimentary equipment over the years with little productivity.

“The Government is working with local and international companies to engage in bi-lateral and multilateral agreements, aimed at providing basic Agricultural machinery for our farmers.

” About 10,000 tractors and 50,000 processing equipment are expected to be imported and will be distributed to all local governments across the country which will create hundreds of jobs.

“The government is doing everything possible to increase the number of tractors in the country to be made available, especially to smallholder farmers,” he said.

‘According to him, the agricultural sector is a fundamental driver of the economic diversification and growth, agriculture is the only sector with endless resources and we can never move away from Agriculture,” he added.

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The President, of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Dr. Farouk Rabi’u-Mudi, said that the laudable initiative will not stop at boosting productivity and boosting the economy but will also hinder post-harvest losses associated with storage equipment.

“This development in the Agriculture space draw affects everybody because of the high cost of food in the country.

“Without mechanization, the issue of food price hike may further soar higher because, unlike manual labor, it’s a more subsidized farming method, it’s faster and saves a lot of time spent on labor on the farm.

“Using manual labor for one hectare of land will cost you about N40,000 but with mechanized equipment, you do the same land tilling at just the cost of N6,000.

“This way, the cost of production is reduced and the cost of food will be reduced automatically, also post-harvest loses will be reduced drastically,” he added.

NAN also reports that Afrinex West Africa Ltd, Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Abuja trade fair center, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, and Tata are among notable partners in the West Africa Agro fair 2022.

NAN reports that mechanization is a multi-dimensional concept widely used in agriculture.

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