NCAM seeks subsidy on Agric equipment for farmers
The Acting Director of National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM), Ilorin, Kwara State, Dr. Yomi Kasali has canvassed government subsidies for farmers purchasing agricultural equipment, to boost their productivity.
Kasali, who disclosed this during the Skill Acquisition and Empowerment Training for Youth in Welding and Fabrication of Agro Processing Equipment, in Ilorin, said agriculture could contribute meaningfully to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) if the sector was mechanised and such equipment affordable to average farmers.
He said: “Nigerian farmers unlike their counterparts in other developing nations of the world, are still employing primitive tools to till the soil, yet they produce about 70 per cent of the nation’s food production. But to make agriculture contribute significantly to the country’s GDP the country needs to mechanise its agriculture.
“To achieve this, the level of adoption, accessibility and affordability of low cost equipment should be increased. Increasing these levels means there should be increased fabrication of these equipment, which will reduce drudgery and also improve productivity.”
The youths, numbering over 80 and drawn across the six geo-political zones, including a lady from Bayelsa State, were sponsored to the two weeks intensive training programme by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The NCAM boss disclosed that the trainees at the end of the programme are expected to transfer the acquired skill to other youths in their localities towards making same available across the nation. He praised the courage of the sole lady venturing into a male denominated vocation, just as he announced a sum of N10, 000 for her as an encouragement to other female youths.
Besides, he encouraged the farmers to organise themselves into veritable cooperative groups to acquire loans, and to share capital and inherent risk in the agricultural sector.
The NCAM was established by the Federal Government to research and innovate into indigenous technologies that can reduce drudgery in farming processes, thus increasing timeliness and efficiency of operations.
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