FG urges Gombe youth to join wheat production drive | Dailytrust

FG urges Gombe youth to join wheat production drive

FILE PHOTO – Wheat seeds
FILE PHOTO – Wheat seeds

The federal government has called on the youth in Gombe State to avail themselves of the opportunities to increase their income through wheat production.

Speaking at the ‘Groundbreaking Ceremony of 2021 Dry Season Wheat Production’ site in Dogon Ruwa community of Kaltungo Local Government Area of the state, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, explained why youths are paramount in the heart of President Muhammadu Buhari’s employment drive.

He said this drive has become necessary as there is a dire need for wheat in Nigeria as there is inadequate production of the commodity compared to its demand.

The production site sits on 100 hectares and it is expected to engage 200 youths while the other 100 hectares in Nafada will also engage additional 200 youths bringing a total to 400 youths for this dry season wheat production in the State.

Prince Ikonne told the farmers who gathered at the event that; “our wheat consumption is more than 6 million metric tonnes annually, and we are producing like 1.1 per cent of what we consume.

“Gombe has been positioned by nature as the potentials and as one of the States that would be producing wheat in Nigeria.

“We will need more additional sites in terms of land provision.

“This community that has provided the land they are the immediate beneficiaries as we provide them with the herbicides, pesticides, pumping machines, seeds, technical support, we will encourage our youths to be more productive, make money from wheat production.

“It is a lucrative business and the federal government is positioned to support the farmers in the area of wheat production.

“NALDA will be seeking more land donations from this community so that we will engage more youths,” he said.

The agency also said it would cite the first Integrated Farm Estate in Gombe State to take care of its abundant vegetable resources, which the state has provided, before the end of February 2022.

The Executive Secretary called on investors to key into the wheat value chain for more profit and to reduce heavy dependence on importation of the commodity, which leaves a foreign exchange burden on the country.

“I use this opportunity to call on investors to begin to invest in wheat production as money is being made available.

“NALDA will be positioning itself in providing water infrastructure in assisting in irrigation system as we go into massive wheat production in the country,” he said.

In his remarks, the Governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, commended NALDA for the project, and also other projects NALDA is executing in line with the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari in terms of creating employment for youths in the state.

“This groundbreaking ceremony is part of the commitment of both the Federal and State governments under President Muhammadu Buhari and my humble self as the State Governor towards boosting the agricultural sector and ensuring food security in the country.

“Dry season wheat production effort is to bridge this gap and the project is targeting nine states at the moment with a land size of over 2,500 hectares and is expected to reach at least 10, 000 metric tonnes because following the success by the grace of God, NALDA, the Federal Government, and private sector will join hands to see that Nigeria go through wheat consumption without necessarily importing a significant part of it”, Yahaya stated.

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