James Emejo in Abuja
The National Land Development Authority (NALDA) has said its mandate to boost food security and revive rural agriculture has started to yield positive results across the country.
It said its interventions had resulted in bountiful crop harvests from NALDA farm estates across the six geopolitical zones.
Following the recovery of abandoned lands and subsequent establishment of integrated farm estates across the country, as well as provision of farm input to farmers, the agency said it achieved tremendous success in both farms built and run solely by the agency.
Also, farms run in collaboration with private and public institutions across the six geopolitical zones recorded remarkable harvests.
Harvesting, bagging and storage of rice and maize are currently underway in Niger, Nasarawa, Benue and Oyo States.
The harvests are expected to boost the country’s grain supply which will have significant effect on the value chains downstream that produce poultry feed and other household goods.
A recent tour of harvest activities at farm sites nationwide indicated hopes that these harvests would help to reduce the gap in domestic production and supply of rice and maize.
In Bauchi State, maize harvest is ongoing at the well-equipped NALDA farm estate located at Galambi, and where over 150 metric tonnes of maize is expected from the farm.
Although the overall land area is 500 hectares, 50 hectares were cultivated due to a 15-day rain delay and a late start to activities.
The farm is equipped with four tractors, two maize threshers, planters, boom sprayers, maize harvesters and a finished grain warehouse.
The Bauchi State Coordinator for NALDA, Jalaludeen Muhammad Mu’azu, said the farm will boost significant production in the area as no farm in the state possessed such machinery.
According to him, the crop’s success has already piqued the interest of farmers in the surrounding farming communities.
Mu’azu told journalists that the complete farm operation was entirely mechanized, from harrowing, planting and spraying of fertilizer with a 400-litre capacity boom sprayer and machinery for weeding and harvesting.
He said: “We have just started our harvest and you know this is the first time we are farming here. From the stories that we heard from people, there is a particular place they showed us that since they came here 40 years ago, they have never seen maize production that can be compared to our own. They were very amazed.
“As a young man working in a mechanized farm, I feel very happy. For you to see a mechanized farm that use only machines for everything, you have to look very far, it is very rare around us here and I see a very bright future because you will be able to cover a very wide area of land within a very short period.”