The federal government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with John Deere on establishing a tractor plant in Nigeria.
Abubakar Kyari, the minister of Agriculture and Food Security, who signed the MOU in Abuja on Monday, said that the government, with the partnership, seek to create a conducive environment for farmers to access tractors for farming activities.
According to him, John Deere will be expected to produce a minimum of 2,000 tractors per year for five years.
“The original arrangement is 2,000 tractors for five years, but it depends on how much the farmers are willing to take.
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“We are very excited about the agreement because it really signifies that the parties, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, John Deere, and Tata Nigeria, see similar opportunities to make mechanization more available for more farmers.
“This is critical for raising yield and food security, but also for raising our farmers incomes. So we’re very excited about that. We’re looking forward to taking it to the next steps as we move to implementation,” he said.
According to the minister, when produced, the government would not off-take the tractors but provide the enabling environment to make the tractors available to farmers at low interest rate.
In his remarks, Jason Brantley, vice president of John Deere, said, “One of the components that we’re working on together as part of the agreement is to identify the most effective financing solutions that can be made available for customers to purchase these tractors.
“John Deere has been active in Nigeria for decades, and we have tractors running from north to south. We have equipment that can meet all conditions.”
He explained that the company was exploring the feasibility of hiring, acquiring, and producing tractors in addition to after-sales services, supplying genuine spare parts, and training operators and mechanics.
“One of the things that we’ve talked about as we’ve been putting things together is the importance of making sure we match up the right implements with the right tractor in the right area, so we are cognizant of that.
“So the assembly plant is in planning right now, and Tata Nigeria will be taking that forward. You can expect some information and announcements on that in the near future,” he said.