Nigeria is to secure a loan facility of 950 million Euros for the agriculture sector.
Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of this week’s cabinet meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the cabinet approved the loan because it would help to boost agricultural activities in over 600 Local Governments across the country.
“Today, we presented a joint memo with the Federal Ministry of Finance in which we seek the approval for a loan facility of about 950 million Euros translated probably to 1.2 billion dollars.
“This loan is for the purpose of agriculture mechanization in this country –that will cover about 632 local governments plus 140 processing plants.
“This is going to be a major revolution in the agriculture sector, that we have never seen before,’’ Nanono said.
The minister gave further details saying the government intends to distribute smaller loans to farmers through agricultural mechanization centers that will also have tractor hiring schemes.
He said: “The key to our mechanization is the establishment of 632 service centers across the country.
“These service centers will constitute a tractor hiring scheme, an IT and admin office, a mechanical workshop, and a store for keeping farm inputs and outputs from the agricultural sector.
“The key to the tractor hiring scheme is that every tractor will have a tracking device, such that wherever it is working in this country you will know at your fingertip where it is working, how much area it has covered and the revenue it is getting.”
Nanono stressed that the private centers would be privately owned by the indigenes of the Local Government Areas involved.
“It is going to be a competitive bid that will involve making an investment of between seven to 10 million Naira but you may probably be handed an asset of over N150 million to be repaid within a specific period of time,” he added.