We’ll ensure tractors get directly to farmers – Gov Kefas

We’ll ensure tractors get directly to farmers – Gov Kefas

Taraba State governor, Dr Agbu Kefas, has said the newly bought tractors will not be diverted but go straight to farmers. He said the machines are part of his total commitment to making the state the ultimate hub of food production.

He reiterated his earlier declaration that Taraba State can feed its populace and the entire country.

“Taraba State has no business with hunger. With our vast land and potential in crops and cattle, we are now prepared to become the national leader in food security,” he said.

Kefas said farmers remain the hope of the state and the nation, as hunger is now a security threat to the nation.

He also said the machines are not just about technology but sowing the seeds of hope.

The governor was speaking at the unveiling of the first 250 out of the 850 tractors and other farm implements purchased from the Czech Republic. The event is the second in the three-day programme designed to commemorate Governor Kefas’ first year in office.

Earlier in his welcome address, the commissioner of Agriculture, Professor Nick Namessan, said the farmers would sign agreements on receiving the tractors.

According to the agreement, farmers will provide guarantors that will serve as sureties, while payments will be on a 40:60% ratio, with the government taking the larger share of the repayments.

The beneficiaries will pay 40 per cent of the cost, while the government will foot the remaining cost.

He said with the subsidy, the state government expects more farmers to take advantage of the scheme.

Prof. Nick said the government will assiduously monitor the repayments and maintenance of the tractors.

The commissioner revealed that a mobile maintenance vehicle is also available to ensure swift repairs when there are breakdowns.

In his goodwill message, a former governor of the state, Rev. Jolly Nyame, commended Dr Kefas.

He noted that the workshop he commissioned during his tenure was vandalized over the years, adding that he was filled with pride that the current administration has restored the glory of the dilapidated structure.

He commended the governor for viewing government as a continuous process in which uncompleted projects are revived and strengthened.

Representatives of the Czech Republic Ambassador to Nigeria said they were elated by the business relationships they have with the state.

The Lamdo Gashaka, Alhaji Zubairu Hammangabdo, commended Governor Kefas for providing farm inputs to farmers in the state.

He said the timing of the release of the inputs was good, as it came when farmers had fully started farming activities for the season.

He said fertiliser, tractors and pesticides were at the top of the list of what the farmers needed, adding that the release of the inputs by Governor Kefas was commendable.

He said farmers across the 16 LGAs of the state are now back to the farms, even though there is not enough rainfall in some parts of the state.

The traditional ruler said farmers should not be discouraged but should embark on prayers for rainfall.

“When both Muslims and Christians embark on prayers for rainfall, the Almighty Allah will answer our prayers and there will be enough rainfall and bumper harvest,” he said.

He also urged his subjects to utilise the inputs provided by the state government to expand the scope of their farming activities in order to produce more cash and food crops.

“Farming is a profitable venture and in Taraba State, more than 90 per cent of the population are farmers and that is why the state government came out with initiatives to boast agriculture,” he said

He said with vast arable land in all the local government areas of the state and with the good agricultural policy put in place by the present administration in the state, Taraba will be a leading producer of both cash and food crops in the country.

Meanwhile, Governor Kefas has approved the setting up of a 13-member committee for the distribution of the tractors procured by the state.

The committee, comprising members of farmers’ associations, traditional rulers and religious leaders, as well as other stakeholders in the various communities, was charged with the distribution of tractors across the 16 LGAs of the state.

Governor Kefas had pledged when he commissioned the 250 tractors that he would ensure that farmers benefit from the services of the tractors at affordable fees.

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