By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) is to train thousands of Niger Delta ex-agitators under the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) in high-yield agricultural ventures.
NABDA Coordinating Director, Mr. Josiah Bitrus Habu, disclosed this at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja while receiving the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and PAP Coordinator, Brigadier-General Paul Boroh (rtd).
Habu said NABDA has the capacity to simultaneously train 500 Amnesty beneficiaries at its Odi, Bayelsa State centre in such areas as high-yielding plantain and banana farming or plantation and high variety grass-cutter and snail reproduction.
The training, he said, would be tailored towards ensuring job creation and empowerment, food security and carried out in a serene environment.
He added that the ex-agitators would benefit from the use of technology and the principles of science to produce high yields in food and ensuring good health for the people.
Habu observed that the country with its estimated 180 million people is a ready market for all agricultural products as well as the ECOWAS sub-region.
In his remarks, Boroh who led the Presidential Amnesty team said the primary objective of the Office was to reintegrate fully the 30,000 beneficiaries, adding that agriculture was the fastest and most sustainable means of doing so. His findings, Boroh revealed, was that NABDA which uses technology and the principles of science to produce high yields in farming would be worthy partners of the Amnesty Programme.
According to a statement issued by the Media and Communication Consultant, Presidential Amnesty Office, Owei Lakemfa, Boroh added that the Amnesty Office was ready to send thousands of beneficiaries for immediate training by the agency.
The federal government, he said, was diversifying and refocusing the attention of the country from oil especially when the prices are not as attractive, to other areas, particularly, agriculture.