LAGOS – Some farmers have reacted to the Federal Government’s decision to stop the importation of tractors into the country following the discovery that the imports were substandard.
Mr Bada Wade, a maize farmer in Ikorodu, Lagos State, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the action would help sanitise the system and ensure that farmers got their money’s worth in their quest to support food security in the country.
“Although it would not be easy on the part of farmers but the gains are numerous in the long run. This is another way of government ensuring that farmers are not shortchanged in their dealings.
“It is a process to encourage commercialisation because we are looking at the commercialization of agriculture,” he said.
Also commenting Mrs Igharo Edoba, the Manager at Paragon Farms Ltd, a palm fruit farm in Edo,noted that the lack of access to good tractors was hindering production.
Edoba told NAN that because of bad farm access roads in the area, transportation posed a threat to the commercialisation.
“I want to call on government to look into the area of providing tractors because that way, it will be easy to work on the farm.
“We know that it is a good thing for them to stop importation because of the issue of standard, but we should also consider the production of food.
“If farmers become handicapped, then there will be problems in agricultural development since we are looking at strengthening the sector to take over from oil,” he said.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, had at a recent forum in Abuja said that the stoppage of tractor importation was because the equipment currently being imported were substandard.
“Before now, people were bringing refurbished tractors and selling it as new tractors. At that time, farmers could only get tractors which cables were already eaten by rats.
“And they still have to pay for them. Such tractors can only be used for just a season or only three months and then they break down.
“So, it was part of the problems and we decided that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture will no longer import tractors for anybody,” the Minister said. (NAN)