The Federal Government on Tuesday unveiled 80 bid winners for its agricultural equipment hiring centres, which are to be deployed in 29 states across the country.
It said the average cost of each of the agricultural equipment enterprise centre was N35m, and added that centres would provide affordable mechanised services to farmers in Nigeria.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said the government also facilitated credit facilities for the successful bidders at seven per cent interest rate.
He spoke at a stakeholders meeting with the bidders in Abuja.
Adesina said, “Today, gathered here are the successful bid winners for the 80 agricultural equipment hiring centres to be deployed to the 29 states, as a first phase of the programme. I wish to state that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has facilitated the access of each of these service operators to a credit facility of N26m each.
“This is to demonstrate the seriousness with which we take this programme. Each of the private sector service operators will only need to provide 20 per cent of the cost as equity, while the balance will be spread over 48 months with seven per cent interest and two years moratorium.”
Last year, President Goodluck Jonathan approved the inauguration of the Agricultural Equipment Mechanisation Enterprises, which were private sector-driven service providers.
Their operations include leasing/hiring out of various types of agricultural equipment for land preparation, harvesting and post harvest operations, repair and maintenance of such equipment.
The government approved N50bn agricultural mechanisation fund and stated that in the next three years, a total of 1,200 agricultural equipment-hiring enterprises will be established. (NAN)