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Sani Ibrahim
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa,University
Agricultural economics and extension
100Level, Nigeria.
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In a determined effort to improve agricultural mechanisation,
a total of six hundred and thirty-two local government areas
will be linked up with Federal Government’s tractorisation
service with effect from January next year.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development,
Muhammed Sabo Nanono, gave this information at the
Commissioning ceremony of the Agribusiness Incubation
Centre of Federal University Dutse on Monday.
Nanono maintained that lack of agricultural mechanisation is
responsible for low yield experienced by our farming
community. This deficiency, he said, is responsible for our
inability to fully utilise the over eighty-four to ninety-two
million hectares land endowment in Nigeria.
The Minister expressed further concern that presently farmers
only realise 1.2 to 1.6 tons per hectare, which he observed is
very inadequate if we are to succeed in feeding the two
hundred million million Nigerian populace that accounts for
about thirty-five per cent of the total arable land on the
continent of Africa.
Africa, he disclosed, in a statement by Ahmed Aminu his
Technical Assistant has sixty-five per cent of global arable
land.
He decried the fact that it is a big shame that there are only
seven functional tractors per a hundred kilometre square in
Nigeria as opposed to what obtains in Kenya where they have
at least twenty seven tractors per every one hundred square
kilometres.
For Nigeria to match what obtains in Kenya, with lesser
population, the Minister said Nigeria needs to procure sixty
thousand more tractors than what is available today.
Minister Sabo Nanono said the Federal government feels
obliged to boost agricultural productivity not only to meet
domestic needs but also to be able to cope with exporting
food items to our neighbours whether knowingly or
inadvertently.
The tractorisation drive, according to the Minister, is aimed at
boosting agricultural productivity in order to lift the maximum
number of Nigerians from the age-old drudgery as well as
lifting as many citizens away from poverty as possible
especially the teeming youths.
The Agribusiness Incubation Centre commissioned at Federal
University Dutse is a technology-driven facility which will serve
as a centre of excellence to improve rice and other
commodities value chain as would benefit producers,
processors, marketers and users of agricultural products.

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