President Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday commission the first National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA)’s Integrated Farm Estate in Daura, Katsina State.
This launch will revamp youths’ interest in agriculture and is expected to scale up economic opportunities and income for millions of farmers in the state.
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The integrated farm estate is expected to have poultry pens, goat pens, rabbit pens, fish ponds, crop farming areas, processing and packaging plants, storage, clinics, residential area, school, training centres as well as an administrative facilities.
Speaking on the commissioning of its Integrated Farm Estate, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, said the project was initiated and completed within six months.
Ikonne said: “The essence of the programme is to engage as many Nigerian youths as possible by giving them employment and empowering them with skills and tools to handle the business aspect of farming.
“This will enable farmers to get value for their products and the global economic trend warrants that we call on everybody to go back to farm.
“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that farming will be fully mechanised to make it more attractive and more profitable.
“And that is what NALDA is driving. In this project, we will engage institutions, corporate bodies, governments, and individuals to lease their land that is not in use so that we could put it to use in a way that will contribute to economic productivity and youth employment.”
Earlier in his visit to Katsina State, Prince Ikonne said the agency had selected 14 states under it pilot phase for the programme.
President Buhari resuscitated NALDA in June after the amended Act establishing the agency through the National Assembly to drive his agro-economy development of the rural communities and to create millions of jobs across the states.
NALDA was initially established by Decree No. 92 of 1992 By the military administration of Ibrahim Babaginda to address the problem of low levels of utilisation of abundant farmland, rural labour resources and the high cost of land development.
However, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in 2002, scrapped the agency after 10 years.
President Buhari, after reviving the agency, “directed that all NALDA’s abandoned farm estates be retrieved to enable thousands of our young men and women to be engaged in farming.
“This Administration will be achieving agricultural mechanisation through this scheme and I am confident that Nigeria under my watch, will achieve food security in producing most of what we eat.
“By virtue of my passion and desire for agriculture and also as a farmer myself, I am directly supervising NALDA as an authority under the Presidency.”