In a bid to encourage commercial agriculture in the state, Govenor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Thursday launched the sale of 50 units of Tractors to farmers at 60 per cent subsidy.
Ortom, who performed the ceremony at Benue Peoples House Makurdi, said the tractors, which were procured at the cost of N13.9 million were being given to beneficiaries at highly subsidised rate of N5.6 million representing only 40 per cent of the total cost, while the State Government will bear 60% of the cost.
“This implies that of the subsidized cost, beneficiaries will pay the sum of N5,600,000.00 per Tractor, while Government will bear the remaining 60% cost of N8,397,000.00 (Eight Million, Three Hundred and Ninety-Seven Thousand Naira) per unit of Tractor. This gesture is to enable our farmers afford the Tractors”, the Governor stated.
He said each local government would get one unit of the tractors while functional cooperatives and individual farmers would also benefit, stressing that monies recovered from the sales would be used to procure more units of tractors for the benefit of farmers.
According to the Governor, the tractors which came with all their accessories must be used strictly within the state to help maintain its status as Food Basket of the Nation, cautioning that any tractor seen operating outside the state would be impounded and the sale revoked in accordance with the agreement between the beneficiaries and Government.
Governor Ortom directed Council Caretaker Chairmen of the 23 local government areas to liaise with Benue Agriculture and Rural Development Authority, BNARDA to train extension workers who would encourage mass crop production, noting that land clearing had already been captured in the 2020 Budget and would be implemented to encourage farming.
The Governor also condemned attacks on Jootar in Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State as well as the crisis at Tyo-Mu in Makurdi and sued for calm, assuring that he would soon meet with his Taraba State counterpart on the roadmap to peace in border communities of the two states.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Timothy Ijir, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Helen Atom, said the desire of the state to increase crop production through mechanization to encourage food security neccessitated the purchase of the tractors.
Others who spoke at the event were ALGON Chairman Benue State, Anthony Shawon, Tor Lobi, Chief Moses Anagende, State Chairman All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Aondongu Saaku and representative of Women in Agriculture, Ngizan Chahur. They all commended the Benue State Government for the initiative and promised judicious use of the tractors.
Below are some photos from the launch.