With the acquisition of 225 Mahindra 60hp two-wheel tractors, the Katrina State Government, on Thursday, launched its N2 billion agriculture technology scheme tagged “Farm to Folk Prosperity Initiative,” for farmers in the area.
Launching the programme on behalf of Governor Aminu Bello Masari, the deputy governor, Mannir Yakubu, explained that the agricultural scheme was conceived in 2014 as part of the five key sectors that need government attention.
He listed the other sectors as education, health, water supply and security, describing them as the catalyst needed for sustainable economic development, social reforms, peace and security.
The agriculture technology scheme is a partnership programme in collaboration with the government, Springfield Agro Limited, Mahindra of India, the manufacturers of the tractors, Tractor Owners and Operators of Nigeria, Access Bank Plc and the Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for agricultural lending.
According to Yakubu, “Our intention is to deploy adequate farm machinery to a level that will boost agricultural productivity to at least 50 per cent of international standards.
“We are confident that this type of arrangement will provide enough farm machinery at no cost to the state government by supplying tractors that will meet our set target of 0.5hp per hectare.
“This administration, through the Agricultural Restoration Agenda has come up with many programmes to revitalize the agriculture sector.
“These include the ongoing farmers data information system, rehabilitation of dams and irrigation schemes across the state and the establishment of 34 weather stations in each local government area at a total cost of N800 million.”
In his remarks, Managing Director of the Mahindra Group, Ashok Takur, said that his tractor company began operation in India in 1945 which has since spread to over 100 countries.
He described Mahindra as the largest manufacturers of tractors in the world and listed some other interests of the company to include manufacture of utility and security vehicles, Information Technology, harnessing energy from the sun and real estate.