The honourable minister of agriculture and rural development Chief Audu Ogbeh has restated the government’s commitment to ensuring food security for Nigerians through the full mechanisation of the agricultural sector and land development.
Chief Ogbeh stated this Thursday in Abuja at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nigerian Agricultural Mechanisation and Equipment Leasing Company (NAMEL) and Mantrac Nigeria Limited to launch an Integrated Nationwide Agricultural Land Development Scheme (INALDS).
Ogbeh who was represented by the Director, Honourable Minister’s Office, said the MoU is a significant step in government’s endeavour to accelerate and deepen the pace of agricultural mechanisation in Nigeria.
“This is why NAMEL was incorporated recently to champion agricultural mechanisation by working with relevant stakeholders to achieve the positive effect to the realisations of our goals.”
Chief Ogbeh assured of the support of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the implementation of the project.
“What we are doing today is against what is to come in the next 3-4 years and what we are implementing today, is a strategic plan laid about 7 years ago. We decided to open more lands so that we can effectively manage the cash flow that will come as a result of the deployment of tractors in the sector.
“This is why we decided to go into partnership with Mantrac. Mantrac on their own has also been working on a sustainable partnership with the federal government and the Nigerian people by way of bringing in equipment at a more affordable rate. The MoU we are signing today is a product of consultation for over one year to develop.
“We are working with Mantrac to open up about 500,000 hectares of farmland nationwide to provide a market for our mechanisation programme. By market, I mean developing the value activities along the chain which includes harvesting, standardisation packaging etc.”
“We want to empower Nigerian farmers to get more crops and as we all know; agriculture is the cornerstone of many other industries, what we are doing today, will write history for years to come with a positive outcome on agriculture and many other industries and mainly on the Nigerian citizens in terms of more jobs, more food and more industrial activities.
INALDS is a private sector initiative designed to open up 500,000 hectares of arable land using the appropriate agricultural land development technology with payment structured on a flexible differed system over a period of 1-3 years. The INALD specific target is to open up 13,000 hectares of land each state of the federation in collaboration with both the states and local governments.