As part of its efforts to enhance mechanized farming and boost food production, the Benue State government has commenced the distribution of 50 tractors units to farmers in the state with 40 per cent subsidy.
Benue Gov.,Samuel Ortom, who flagged off the distribution at the Government House, in Makurdi, said the state felt compelled to launch the incentive for farmers during this trying time in world history to at a minimum guarantee food security.
This measure by the governor is aimed at ensuringe self-sufficiency in food production in the state by encouraging farmers to embrace mechanization in their farming activities.
In Nigeria today, many farmers still depend on hand tools such as hoes and cutlasses, which are time -consuming, laborious and very inefficient. Mechanization improves production and eliminates loss of time, making it key for farmers in the country.
Gov. Ortom indicated that the tractors purchased included trailers, harrows, ridgers and other implements, and that the government would bear 40 per cent, or N5.6 million, of the total N13.9 million cost, with the benefiting farmers paying 60 per cent, or N8. 3 million.
The governor appealed for prompt payment noting that as soon as the beneficiaries paid for their tractors, the government would purchase more tractors to facilitate the plan, selling them again to farmers in order to saturate the state with tractors and boost agricultural production.
He advised the 23 local government chairmen and all farmers to ensure that the tractors are used within the state, warning that any farmer who takes machines outside the state will be sanctioned and have his or her purchase revoked.