The federal government of Nigeria is reportedly considering bio-diesel as an alternative source of fuel for farmers to enhance food production and supply.
This is following the high cost of diesel in the country!
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe, disclosed this in his office in Abuja, while expressing concern over the persistent hardship farmers face in accessing diesel, which now sells for between N200 and N210 per litre.
According to him, this is happening during the planting season and it is reportedly preventing farmers from using tractors and power tillers on their farms.
While noting that the impact on food production is quite severe, he stressed that the pathetic incidence has become a yearly occurrence as the planting season coincides with the shortage of diesel needed to operate tractors in the farms.
He described the production of Jathropha seeds and oil processing as a very good option that will help to give farmers self-sufficiency in diesel production as an organic fuel (bio-diesel).
This he said is expected to promote renewable energy, improve environment and reduce expenses on importation.
Ogbe also assured mechanized farmers all over the country that the problem of diesel supply and pricing would be addressed to cushion the effects on their operations and avoid negative impact on food production in 2016, vowing to tackle the problem, both in the long and short terms.
According to him, the ministry will, in the short term, appeal to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to help, as soon as possible, to ease the tight supply situation.
He also promised that his ministry would meet the dealers and refiners of petrol to find an immediate solution to the high cost of the product so as to give relief to tractor owners, operators and farmers.
Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reportedly distributed 500 threshers and 100 power tillers to farmers in 12 states for processing of rice, wheat, maize, millet and other grains to boost food production and self-sufficiency.