By James Emejo
The Executive Secretary, National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Mr. Paul Ikonne, said the agency has concluded plans to set up three rice processing mills in Adamawa State.
He said, the deal, which is in partnership with the state government would also assist farmers in value addition as well as boost food sufficiency.
In an interactive session with farmers in the state, Ikonne, said the government would assist the farmers to make money from their produce through value addition which had been lacking in agriculture.
He said the era of middlemen buying off farm produce from farmers at a ridiculous rate and engaging in price arbitrage was over, adding that the farmers will henceforth add value to their produce and sell.
He explained: “I am here in Adamawa State with a message from the president, the message says go to all the communities, develop their land and make the people rich.
“The only way to achieve that in all the communities is through agriculture, and if it is through agriculture and we are all farmers, that means this message is for us.
“NALDA is back to make millionaires in all the communities in the country.
We have to discover that the people that make money from farm produces are not the farmers.”
According to him: “NALDA coming back as a business platform is to help you understand that what you are doing is business, and when you understand it is business, you will be able to know how much you will place on what you are producing.”
However, the NALDA boss said the agency had identified its 4000 hectares of farmer estates in the state as well as received additional donations of 5000 hectares for farming in the state.
Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri, commended the partnership, saying it would empower farmers in the state. He said he was committed to supporting NALDA in all areas of its endeavours.
Represented by the State Commissioner of Agriculture, Dr. Dishi Khabe, he added: “Where NALDA thinks we can come in, on behalf of the state government, we will come in and always do that.”
Fintiri added: “I want to applaud NALDA for this great task, the state government cannot do it all alone, the federal government cannot do it all alone, but if a synergy is well built between both parties, our farmers would smile a home.
“The idea of this programme is to have food sufficiency in the state which is the goal of NALDA as it affects our farmers in the grassroots, and I saw when the data was collected, how it was collected, and I saw it was done to achieve its desired aim at the grassroots”.