Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has decried the high interest rate farmers pay, stating that the situation is stalling agricultural productivity in the country.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, in a statement sent late Wednesday and signed by the Assistant Chief Information Officer, Muhammad Tahir Zakari, maintained that the situation would be addressed.
This was even as he assured Nigerians that the reforms currently going on in the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) would soon be completed thereby making farmers enjoy low interest rate on loans and become shareholders in the bank.
The minister further commended the Nigerian Agricultural Mechanisation and Equipment Leasing Company (NAMEL) and the Private sector Mechanization Service Providers (Tractor Owners and Operators Association of Nigeria TOOAN and Tractor Owners and Hiring Facilities Association of Nigeria TOHFAN) for their supports and expressed the government’s commitment to give the service providers necessary support to grow and provide quality services for farmers.
“The Memorandum of Understanding that we are signing today is one of the greatest innovation in Agricultural Sector because government cannot manage tractors, with the experience of so many years the tractors never last, they were supposed to last for 15 years but due to poor handling they only last for two or three years.”
The Chief Executive Officer of NAMEL, Dr. Ahmed Adekunle said the partnership between NAMEL and Mechanization Service Providers (MSP) will not only provide equipment to farmers but also build local capacity to operate, maintain and maximize their uses.