The National Chairman of Tractor Owners & Hiring Facilities Association of Nigeria TOHFAN Alhaji Danladi Garba over the weekend stated that Nigeria does not have up to 7,000 fully functional tractors.
He made this statement while addressing members of the press at TOHFAN’s headquarters in Zaria, Kaduna state.
Alhaji Garba pointed out during his interview that with the high demand for tractors in the country, only few states in the country can boast of having up to 200 tractors for farm mechanization purposes and to ensure food security in Nigeria .
‘’I am telling you as I am speaking to you at the moment we don’t have up 7,000 functional tractors in the country so look at our demand and need for Nigeria to become food sufficient and food secured’
‘’If you also look at tractor penetration in Nigeria, if you divide 7,000 tractors by 36 states plus the FCT which is 37 you will see the figure will be about 180 – 200 tractors. Just very few states in Nigeria can produce 200 functional tractors, and by functional tractors I mean at any given time they can go to the farm. We don’t have them except for six states which include Kaduna, Plateau, Katsina and Kano. They are the only states where you can get these 200 functional tractors’’
The National Chairman emphasizing on the need for farm mechanization pointed out that Nigeria has about seven tractors in a radius of 100km and will need up to 60,000 tractors to meet up with food production and food security.
‘’Looking at our demand and penetration of our tractors through survey, we have less than seven tractors in a radius of 100km while in a country like Kenya the penetration level is twenty seven tractors in a radius of 100km. If you can use this figure to see the need of tractors in Nigeria at the moment you will see we need about 60,000 tractors into the country for Nigeria to be food secure’’
Talking about Farm mechanization challenges in the country and the solutions to these problems, Alhaji Garba pointed out that in the mechanization of the industry TOHFAN needs more tractors and the sector should be more private driven.
He also called on banks and vendors to partner with TOHFAN on its Farm mechanization mission in Nigeria.
‘’As I mentioned earlier all these vendors are importing tractors into the country for government patronage market, however it is not there, why? From the challenges the government is facing doing business, these vendors have seen that it won’t be sustainable, and this is why they have withdrawn. Government buys and loans these tractors to the political tractor owners and at the end of the day they can’t make the payment. The banks will deduct it from the state’s revenue that is why government are scared of bringing tractors into the country. The only alternative is for the sector to be privately driven’’
‘’One of the steps in achieving mechanisation is that we need tractors and we don’t have the money to buy these tractors. Therefore, we need the banks to come in and finance this vision. We also need the vendors and we need the value chain which is something broad.’’