As part of efforts to boost food security and increase job creation, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has secured 103 hectares of farmland for the establishment of integrated farm estate in Ebonyi State.
The land donated to NALDA by the Ebonyi State Government would be used for the development of hatchery and fingerlings production and is expected to create employment of about 3000 youths.
The executive director NALDA Paul Ikonne disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi assured that the project would be completed by October 2021.
Maintaining that they have the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari to reactivate abandoned farm estates and develop new ones for food security, Ikonne assured that the Authority would work inexorably to turn around the fortunes of agricultural activities, with a view to generating wealth and creating a new lease of life for Ebonyi youths.
He said, “Ebonyi has been selected to produce the fingerlings and day-old chicks that will feed the entire South-East and South-South.”
Commending the Governor for his commitment towards improving food security, Ikonne said NALDA is fully ready to mobilize and commence land clearing and construction of structures that are required.
He recalled that Mr President had late last year flagged off the National Youth Farm Scheme to which he has made the funds available to NALDA, saying the scheme will among others engage young Nigerians and make agriculture more attractive to them.
Responding, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi commended NALDA for their doggedness saying in the history of Nigeria, no past Presidents had been able to empower the citizenry like President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
He urged NALDA to consider the production of fingerlings and poultry in its proposed integrated farm estate, lamenting that 90 per cent of the State’s poultry needs are imported from Abia and Cross River States.
Ikonne also assured that work with the state in clearing the 3000 hectares of land allocated for the training of the benefiting farmers under the National Young Farmers Scheme (NYFS).
He further pledged to provide infrastructure, farm mechanisation, farm inputs and other logistics to the young farmers, as part of measures to create jobs, generate wealth and ensure food security in the State and the nation at large.