The Katsina State Government says it has entered into an agreement with Mahindra Company of India for the purchase of 225 tractors to boost food production in the state.
The Deputy Governor, Mannir Yakubu, said this in Katsina during the launching and distribution of the tractors to beneficiaries on a loan basis.
“The company has supplied the tractors through its agent, Spring Field Agro Nigeria Ltd., based in Ibadan,’’ he said.
Yakubu said that the state government, in collaboration with Nigeria Incentive Based Risk-sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and Access Bank, would provide the sum of N1.6 billion.
“The 225 benefitting farmers will provide N400 million, which will serve as their 20 per cent contribution, before collecting the tractors. The tractor scheme we are launching today will be in phases, and we intend to procure about 361 tractors on the long run, which will translate to one tractor for each ward in the state. The scheme is in partnership with Spring Field Agro Ltd., as the vendors, Machindra Company of India, the manufacturers, Tractor Owners and Operators of Nigeria (TOOAN), as obligators, while Access Bank, NIRSAL and Katsina State Government serve as guarantor in the programme,” he said.
In his remarks, Dr Abba Abdullahi, the Special Adviser to Gov. Aminu Masari on Agricultural Development, said that the objective of the new tractor policy was to promote mechanised farming in the state.
He stressed that the tractors would only operate within the state to avoid the mistakes of the previous administrations.
“The company has installed a tracking device that will prevent the tractors from being taken out of the state,’’ he added.
Mr Arua Das, the Managing Director of Spring Field Agro Ltd., said that the company had been operating in Nigeria for over 50 years.
“The Mahindra tractors are very efficient, reliable and easy to maintain and we are going to establish one-stop farmers’ centres in four areas in Katsina State. We are supplying 225 Mahindra 6005 two-wheel drive tractors with 60 horsepower and the one-stop shop will have enough farming implements and inputs that will be sold to farmers at subsidised rates,” he said.
In his speech, the Representative of Access Bank, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, pledged that the bank was ready to finance all agricultural programmes initiated by the current administration in the state.
He appealed to the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the tractors in order to enable them to defray their debt quickly so that other farmers could benefit from the programme.