The Kwara Government has flagged-off the distribution of tractors to farmers at subsidised rates as part of strategies to strengthen large scale farming in the state.
Mr AbdulQowiy Olododo, the Technical Assistant to the Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Agriculture, said on Tuesday at the flag-off ceremony at Lafiagi, that the gesture is aimed at boosting food security and lessen poverty rate in the state.
Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, in a statement said that the programme was under the state government “Tractorization Subsidy Scheme” to boost food production.
“The government is deploying no less than 50 tractors for distribution to farmers at N10,000 per hectare of land – about N6,000 less than the market cost of hiring the machinery from private firms.
“This is the first phase of our interventions to the farmers and we will move from tractorization to supplying input to the farmers – seeds and fertilisers – to boost yields.
“This is in fulfilment of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s electoral promise to support local farmers in the state.
“Secondly, we took this step because we are envisaging that there could be food shortage as a result of ravaging COVID-19.
“So, this is one of the ways we think we can upscale food production in Kwara State,” Olododo said.
He said that the initiative was to support both the subsistence and commercial farmers in the state to boost their production for this season.
The Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Job Creation, Mr Alhassan Aliyu, in the statement said that 50 tractors had been acquired by the government for distribution to all local government areas based on request.
Dr Jamila Bio-Ibrahim, member of the state Task Force on the Implementation of the Tractorization Subsidy Scheme and Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Sustainable Development Goals, said the scheme was in line with Goal Two of the SDGs which is eradicating hunger, improve nutrition and food security, and at the same time promote sustainable agriculture in the state.
She said agricultural mechanisation would improve yields, address nutrition issues and food security in the state.
Bio-Ibrahim urged the farmers to take advantage of the subsidised tractors to improve yields so as to encourage the government to do more.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Muhammad Shaaba-Lafiagi, thanked the Kwara state government for the initiative.
“It has been a very long time we got such support from the state government. This will help us greatly and bring development.
“We are optimistic that we will get more support from the government,” he said.