By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
As part of the efforts to reduce unemployment, rural-urban drift and diversify the economy through boosting agriculture, the Bauchi state government has signed an agreement for the supply of 500 units of tractors for distribution to farmers through public-private-partnership arrangement.
Signing the agreement in Bauchi Friday, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar said the supply of the 500 tractors was meant to equip agriculture and widen the opportunities for employment of youth in the state.
A statement signed by press secretary to the governor, Malam Abubakar Al-Sadique, explained that the tractors are to be distributed to registered farmers and farmers’ cooperatives on loan to be repaid over a period of three years.
The statement further explained that the agreement with Hakar Engineering Limited, tagged “Subsidized Agricultural Tractorization Ownership Programme,” involves the supply of five hundred, 75hp tractors, fully equipped with plough, ridges, harrow and trailers to be sold to farmers.
According to him, the supply of the tractors was the first of its kind the Bauchi state government is making to promote agricultural mechanization in line with the APC manifesto and the campaign promises made.
The governor, said the statement, has stressed the need for the country, especially its Northern part, to make concerted efforts to engage its unemployed youth through agriculture, saying his administration has embarked on the mechanization of the sector to attract other people engage in agricultural production.
“This administration pilots the transformation of agriculture from subsistence level that 80% of our farmers are known for decades to real business that will create thousands of jobs and boost our economy”, the governor said.
“That Nigeria is projected to be the third most populous country in the world by the year 2050 is a reason for us to pause and think. The North is also projected to have most of the nation’s population and there are no jobs to engage that population influx”.
Governor Abubakar stated, “We must therefore take full advantage of the comparative advantage our conducive environment offers for the cultivation of most crops in commercial quantity”.
Managing director and chief executive officer of Hakar Engineering Ltd, Engineer Shuaibu Abdullahi has earlier observed that the tractorization exercise will further equip rural farmers and boost agriculture, and assured of quick delivery of the tractors.
Engr. Abdullahi noted that with such an investment in agriculture, the Governor Abubakar led administration in Bauchi will be leaving a lasting legacy for the next generations.