Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
In an effort to reduce unemployment, rural-urban drift and diversify the economy through boosting agriculture, Bauchi state government has signed an agreement for the supply of 500 units of tractors for distribution to farmers through public-private-partnership.
While signing the agreement recently, Governor Mohammed Abubakar said the epoch-making event for the supply of the 500 tractors was meant to equip agriculture and widen the opportunities for employment youth in Bauchi state.
The governor said the tractors are to be distributed to registered farmers and farmersâ€™ cooperatives on loan to be repaid over a period of three years.
Abubakar further explained that the agreement with Hakar Engineering Limited, tagged â€œsubsidised agricultural tractorisation ownership programme,â€ involves the supply of 500, 75-horse-power tractors, fully equipped with plough, ridges, harrow and trailers are to be sold to farmers.
The governor said the supply of the tractors was the first time Bauchi state government is making such massive efforts to promote agricultural mechanisation, in line with the APC manifesto and the campaign promises they made.
He observed that Nigeria, especially its northern part, must make concerted efforts to engage its unemployed youth through agriculture, noting that his administration has embarked on the mechanisation of the sector to attract other people to the sector.
â€œThis administration pilots the transformation of agriculture from subsistence level that 80 per cent of our farmers are known for decades to real business that will create thousands of jobs and boost our economy,â€ Abubakar said.
According to him, â€œThat Nigeria is projected to be the third most populous country in the world by the year 2050 is a reason for us to pause and think. The north is also projected to have most of the nationâ€™s population and there are no jobs to engage that population influx. We must therefore take full advantage of the comparative advantage our conducive environment offers for the cultivation of most crops in commercial quantity.â€
Managing director and chief executive officer of Hakar Engineering Ltd, Mr. Shuaibu Abdullahi said the tractorisation exercise would further equip rural farmers and boost agriculture.
While assuring of quick delivery of the tractors, the contractor noted that the administration of Governor Abubakar would be leaving a lasting legacy for the next generations.