Fifty units of tractors procured by the Benue State Government have been distributed at forty percent subsidized rate to farmers in the state to ease land preparation and boost agricultural production.
Governor Samuel Ortom who performed the distribution ceremony at Government House, Makurdi said the tractors were procured at the cost of thirteen point nine million naira per unit and are being given to the farmers at five point six million naira.
Governor Ortom stated that the Government used part of the two billion naira agricultural loan it secured in twenty fifteen to purchase the tractors and was expecting the beneficiaries to pay back so that more tractors would be procured.
He directed the ministry of Agriculture and natural resources to sign an agreement with all the beneficiaries to ensure that the tractors are used within the state and for farming activities only, saying any one who defaults, the tractor should be retrieved.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Timothy Ijir, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Helen Atom said the desire of Government was to increase food production and maintain Benue State position as the food basket of the nation.
The Chairman of Guma Local Government Area, Mr. Antony Shawon and that of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Aondongu Saaku thanked the Government for the gesture and promised to put the tractors to good use.
Each of the twenty three local government areas got one tractor with the rest given to members of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN and cooperative societies.