• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Eurobase Consult advocate zero import duty on farm machinery to boost food production

IFAD-VCDP Agro inputs in Taraba impacts 8,077 farmers

Eurobase Consult Limited has urged the Nigerian government to halt the duties charged on the farm machineries imported into the country.

Speaking during a press briefing in Abuja at the weekend, Don Ekesiobi, Chairman of Eurobase Consult Limited said that the high import tariffs charged by the Federal Government on agro-equipment negates the food security agenda of the Tinubu-led administration.

Read also:State of emergency declaration on food security – A governance perspective

Ekesiobi who announced the upcoming ‘Special Agro equipment and Technology Expo’ slated to hold on 16th and 17th April, said “in other to boost sustainable agro production and food security, we carefully selected 10 among our foreign partners with good global impactful track record that can propel the development of Nigerian Agricultural business sector.

“High duty on imported agro equipment is real, and I do not know whether there is any legislation backing it. Nigeria pays the highest duty on agro equipment in the world.

“My prayer is now that the president has declared state of emergency on agriculture, my prayer is he should make it holistic, and that holistic thing should include removal of duty on anything agro-equipment at least for some time to enable Nigeria balance very well in food self-sufficiency, and make it easier for clearance of good and give 48 hours to agro equipment clearance, which should be accelerated clearing so the equipment can reach the farmers but if they insist in collecting high duty, which means the ambition of declaring food self-sufficiency will not be realized.

“Agro equipment takes a high volume of space and low value, if we ship three tractors in a container, now what the clearing agents are asking is N15 million to clear one container soothing that was N3 million about two or three years ago. If importers of tractors are to pay N15 million or N16 million how is he going to sell it/ So these are considerations the government should give immediately to make import of agro equipment into Nigeria zero-duty until we start fabrications.

“They have contributed in executing agro projects in different western and Asian countries that are self-sufficient in food production and have high volume of exported agro produce.

“We are bringing them to Nigeria to replicate same Multi Billion Dollar agro business in Nigeria We are in Partnership with the federal ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to achieve this objective.”

Read also:FG signs MoU with John Deere for production of tractors in Nigeria

Read also:FG rallies farmers to boost food production with wet season farming

Ekesiobi speaking further said that agricultural business is not just the business of Government, though government is expected to create enabling enviroment.

He said that the Expo is expected to introduce new innovations necessary to transform the Nigeria’s agro sector.

“If we engage intentionally within the Agro value chain we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs, wealth and foreign exchange and at same time end hunger which is the focal point of Mr. President but we have to be intentional and collaborate,” he said.

In her remarks, Hariratu Yakubu, North Central Cordinator, Nigeria Women for Agriculture progress said that a major challenge being experienced by women farmers in Nigeria was access to equipment.

She said, “one of the basic problem we have in this country is because we are so limited when it comes to these agricultural processes, because we don’t have the equipment. So imagine having women in clusters and having these machines for women, that will boost production and to help us to address hunger.”

Read also:Women farmers seek govt support to boost food production

In his remarks, Abubakar Musa, president of Nigeria Young Farmers Network, said the conference would afford young farmers the opportunity to learn and relearn new farming practices.

He said, “I think this is a very great advantage to the youths in the agro ecosystem because what discourages the youths to go into agriculture is that they see it as dirty job. But with the advent of technology the narrative will change.”