Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, says the use of tricycles would ease transportation for smallholder farmers and their produce.
The use of tricycles would ensure easy movement of food and agro-allied products and generate wealth for Nigerian farmers, the minister said.
He made the remarks in Abuja on Tuesday when the President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Alhaji Farouk Mudi, and representatives of a Nigerian company and their South Korean counterparts visited him.
The two companies are distributors and manufacturers of tricycles respectively.The minister noted that Nigeria’s agricultural sector had huge potential to drive the country’s economy.According to him, the Nigerian market is massive across value chains and the use of tricycle will help Nigeria in food distribution, food sufficiency and export of agricultural products.
He urged AFAN and the other visitors to ensure that the tricycles on offer matched the requirements of the smallholder farmer.“There is no point bringing in tricycles without input by the end users; please, the smallholder farmers must have Inputs for the initiative to achieve its objectives and goals,’’ Shehuri said.The minister urged the association to ensure that there was synergy between the federal, state and local governments in carrying out its programmes.“There should be robust collaboration between the three tiers of government and AFAN, because all the relevant stakeholders must streamline policies and programmes to achieve food and nutrition security and boost the economy,’’ he stressed.
Earlier, Mudi told the minister that AFAN and its Nigerian company partner would provide 500,000 units of tricycles which would create direct and indirect employment for more than two million members of the association.“This will empower youths and farmers to reduce stress and cost of transportation of produce and in turn reduce the cost of food items,’’ he said.
Mudi said that the Nigerian company partner would establish assembly plants in the six geopolitical zones in the country to create employment opportunities for Nigeria’s teeming youths.