Kogi State is set to join the list of states in Nigeria to have integrated farm projects executed by the National Agricultural Land Development Authority’s (NALDA), an agency of the federal government under the Presidency.
President Muhammadu Buhari revived the agency about two years ago after it was scrapped in 2000 by President Olusegun Obasanjo to resuscitate and revamp the rural agro-economy and engage millions of youth in agriculture across all the 774 LGAs.
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The Kogi Farm Estate would be located on seven (700) hundred hectares of land in Okwuha Obayin Village, in Ajaokuta Local Government Area, donated by the state government.
The project is expected to engage and increase the income of about 3000 farmers with a major focus on improving the livestock sub-sector and reducing farmers/herders clashes in the country.
The farm would focus mainly on livestock (Cow, Goat, Sheep and Poultry) and pasture production.
It would have a cropping area with an irrigation farming system in place to enable all-year-round food production, particularly maize as the farm has a natural water source in its path.
During a visit to the site on Friday after a courtesy call on the Kogi State Governor, Mr Yahaya Bello, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, reassured the host community that the land would be put to use for their benefit.
And like other previous NALDA farm estates in the country, the facility would boast of social amenities like school, clinic (including veterinary), access roads, residential areas, boreholes and meat processing areas, he said.
The Executive Secretary also commended those who have made land available for the projects, adding that the benefit to the community and other communities will be massive and would scale up to huge economic opportunities for the people of the state.
“These families that are donating the lands, the federal government is developing the land for you, what we are bringing belongs to you and what it means is that all the youth and women within your village would be engaged in this place.
“It is very simple, it is called Integrated Farm Estate, where you will have both school, clinic, crop section, a processing section, animal husbandry sections and then we would also have a mini market, residential area and this place would be purely known for meat processing, cow and goat rearing,” he said.
Prince Ikonne noted that the farm is mapped out in such a way that there would be no friction between farmers and herders as the pasture area on the farm would cater for the feed needs of the animals on the farm and also be exported to other parts of the country.
“There would be no issues with herdsmen and farmers because the farm would be well secured.
“We would have area for pasture production and not just planting it for grass but we would be able to palate it and then take it to other parts of the country because of the size of the land you are donating.
“So, your community is going to host other communities and it is a big blessing,” he added.
Prince Ikonne, while assuring the Okwuha Obayin community, said the land clearing would commence immediately and the first section of the farm estate would be commissioned by December 2021.