Brantley said beyond the manufacturing, there will also be technological transfer and capacity building for interested Nigerians involved in the firm’s smart campaign in the country.

He spoke at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Nigerian Agricultural Mechanization and Equipment Leasing Company (NAMEL) in Abuja.

He explained that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement is expected to ensure easy deployment of high quality mechanized equipment to rural farmers with support from the farm equipment and tractor hiring associations.

John Deere Tractors recently procured by the Kebbi State Government

His Words: “It is part of this agreement; we will all establish assembling facility in Nigeria for John Deere equipment.  Plans are on the way to do that is quickly as possible. So we will begin assembling all the tractors and implements. They will be put together by Nigerians in the country and we will be adding value. That creates a foundation we can continue to grow as the industry grows.”

Brantley added that, “On access to financing, we will offer local currency financing under 10 per cent which is almost unheard of. The reliability and support is built into the machines so that they run – tractors don’t run or feed anybody, they have to run and it takes a significant investment we prepared to make that a reality.

“Every of these tractors will have hello tractor telematics solutions to enable efficient management, operation and maintenance. We have plans to train the operators and technicians. That’s what we are bringing to the table.”

Stakeholders present at the Ministry during the MoU signing in Abuja

Earlier, Federal Government said the agreement will ensure delivery of 10, 000 tractors for rural farmers.

The project will ensure effective delivery of the tractors to local farmers in the 774 Local Governments through 2,500 Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises (AEHE) to be established in the LGs.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Chief Audu Ogbeh stated that for more than three decades, the federal government failed in its efforts to promote mechanized farming.

Describing the initiative as first segment of the AIMS scheme, Ogbeh explained that the project will be closely monitored as farm inputs are being distributed across the local governments.

He said the solution newly invented will help increase food production with expectation to realize 1 million tractors in 15 years.

“We have invented something because I do not see any country in Africa that wants to grow its agriculture that can avoid adopting the method Tractors Owners and Hiring Facility Association of Nigeria (TOHFAN) have perfected in the last four years. Managing to rise from five tractors to almost 600 is a feat. If you want to know how difficult it is to own and operate a tractor, try and buy one,” Ogbeh said.

Source : www.agronaturenigeria.com

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