FG Orders 10000 Tractors…
The Federal Government plans to buy 10,000 tractors from Brazil to promote the country’s agricultural development. The government also said it would establish a “model grazing reserves” in selected states of the country next year.
The latest development came months after Nigerians in some parts of the country voiced opposition to similar ideas. The pasture protection area is an area reserved for shepherds and intends to be the focus of livestock development.
Before that, the Federal Government considered the creation of similar programs, such as the Protection of Rural and Pastoral Areas and the National Program for the Reconstruction of Living, which aims to end the ongoing confrontation between farmers and herders.
But when Agriculture and Rural Development Minister, Mohamed Abubakar on Thursday participated in the House of Representatives’ Joint Committee on Agricultural Production and Services in Abuja to defend the 2022 budget, he revealed that the government is “demonstrating pasture reserves” in some states to resolve next year.
Abubakar said, “the ministry will establish model grazing reserves zones in selected states; and will work with the African Development Bank to establish special agricultural and industrial processing zones in seven states, including the FCT.”
He added that the ministry also “will work with the Brazilian government to implement a priority green project, which aims to deliver 10,000 tractors; it will bring together 50,000 agricultural tools and various equipment in the country.”
The minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ernest Umakhihe, highlighted that the main derivatives projects in the 2022 budget include the restoration and construction of water catchment structures and land dams in the states to increase agricultural production in the country.
He also said the government would speed up the capital restructuring of the two agricultural banks next year.
He said: “The Ministry of Agriculture will launch the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan 2021-2024 and will implement the first phase of agricultural mechanization in 632 primary service centers and 142 secondary processing centers across the country.
“Works with CBN, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to accelerate the recapitalization of Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Company and Agricultural Bank; and BPE.”
Abubakar said the proposed total for the agricultural sector in 2022 is 291.416 billion naira, of which 71.840 billion naira is earmarked for personnel expenses. He added that N3.704 billion was proposed as indirect expenses, while N215.872 billion was earmarked for projects and capital plans.
The minister recalls that N280.315 billion naira were allocated to the agricultural sector in the 2021 budget and highlighted that the reduction of the ministry’s central task budget from 46.99 billion naira to 29.938 billion naira (36.3%) made it difficult to achieve of the expected impact.
Committee members expressed satisfaction with the level of implementation of the 2021 budget and the proposed budget of N291.416 billion naira for the 2022 proposal.
However, lawmakers said that if they find any irregularities in the proposal, they will invite officials from ministries and commissions.
Mohammed Dan-Dutse, chairman of the Agricultural Production and Services Committee, said lawmakers are aware of the various efforts made by the federal government through the formulation of special intervention policies and programmes.