Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State has disclosed that his administration did not inherit any functional tractor in 2019 upon assuming power, noting his agricultural transformation plan is targeted at achieving food security, sustainable growth and job creation.
The Governor spoke at the commissioning of 15 new tractors and several modern farm implements held at Government House, Ilorin on Wednesday.
Some of the implements launched included ploughs, harrows, ridgers, and a mobile workshop to properly manage the machines.
AbdulRazaq said mechanisation is key for the success of the crop production pillar of the agric blueprint and that the administration had kickstarted the implementation with the recent flag off of farm inputs subsidy scheme which gave at least 10,000 farmers access to improved seedlings, fertilisers and chemicals at half the market price.
“Today’s commissioning of 15 new tractors and implements flags off the mechanisation component of the Agric transformation plan. I must mention, for the record, that our administration did not inherit any functional tractor in 2019. This step speaks to our seriousness to truly transform how we farm and put Kwara on the map of agribusiness.
“The objective of our mechanisation programme is to ensure increased output of higher value products. It will also eliminate hardship associated with agricultural production powered by human labour. This initiative has been designed to provide mechanisation services for smallholder and commercial farmers in the state.
“This is just the first in the series of our mechanisation initiative. We would be acquiring more tractors and other sophisticated equipments like combined harvesters, planters, boom sprayer and others to support our farmers and boost production. This will totally transform the way crop production is carried out in Kwara state, and ensure that mechanisation becomes the norm for all farmers in the state,” he stated.
The event was attended by Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; House of Assembly Speaker Yakubu Danladi Salihu; the Grand Kadi of the State Shariah Courts of Appeal Hon. Justice Mohammed Ola Abdulkadir who stood in for the chief judge; House of Assembly members; cabinet members; and top APC chieftains led by caretaker chairman Abdullahi Samari.
The farmers’ association hailed Governor AbdulRazaq for his support for agriculture, especially smallholder farmers, in the state.
“All your administration’s supports are helpful to farming activities in the state. We are grateful for your numerous interventions in the sector,” representative of All Farmers Association of Nigeria in Kwara State Alhaji Mahmud Bello said.