Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The presidency has revealed its plans to engage 77,400 young farmers from all the 774 local government areas across the country in different farming activities in the agriculture sector.
It said the programme, which would commence with a pilot number of 100 per local government area, would be implemented in partnership with the 36 state governors for provision or donation of land.
The Executive Secretary of National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Prince Paul Ikonne, disclosed this yesterday at the maiden media press briefing, where he revealed that the organisation was established in 1992 but stop existing and function in 2000.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari, having given a marching order when he said: “We must produce what we have to eat,” NALDA, as an authority under the presidency, has come up with programmes to meet this directive by the president.
Ikonne stressed that NALDA’s short-term programmes included providing farm inputs such as improved seeds, fertilizers, machinery, environmentally friendly crop protection agents, growth enhancers and trainings which would be given to already existing farmers, saying this would assist them during this farming season in order to improve their yield.
He stated: “Buhari Young Farmers Network, with this initiative, intend to have 77,400 young farmers injected into the Nigerian farming business across the country in different farming activities, ranging from crop farming to animal husbandry.
“These young farmers will be drawn from the 774 local government areas, with a pilot number of 100 per local government area. In this initiative, we will partner state governors for the provision or donation of land and other stakeholders, as this will create employment and food production will be increased.”
Ikonne added that NALDA would also use the ‘Back to Farm’ programme to encourage everyone to go back to farm by reaching out to the military and paramilitary organisations, National Assembly members, civil and public servants, journalists, corporate bodies, religious organisations and individuals.
“These three programmes are our starting point in order to meet the immediate mandate of the president for providing food for all, and we intend to achieve this within the next six months,” Ikonne added.