ABUJA – The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) said it would engage about 400 youths in its 300 hectares of farmland in Gombe State under its National Young Farmers Scheme.
Prince Paul Ikonne, Executive Secretary of NALDA, who announced this at the weekend in Gombe State during his visit to the farmland, said the selected youths would be engaged in dry season farming.
Ikonne explained that the Authority would engage the youth under its National Young Farmers Scheme in collaboration with Federal College of Horticulture Dadin, Kowa, Gombe State, which has also donated another 100 hectares of farmland to the Authority as part of its partnership initiative.
The Executive Secretary who also visited the College, said the Authority would collaborate with the institution in a bid to create jobs for the youth, economically empower them and boost food production in the State.
Addressing the staff and management of the College, Ikonne said, “This is the directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to recover and reactivate NALDA’ s farms across the country in preparation for dry season farming.
“We have noted that your institution can key into our farming programme for food security.
“NALDA would like to partner with your College to achieve Mr. President’s desire in providing and farming what we eat.
“So the essence of our visit is to extend our hands of fellowship for partnership and collaboration in order to give farmers a sense of belonging.
“We will give farmers all the necessary support they need so that our output will be desirable.
“NALDA will commence the preparation of the land because Mr. President has made the funds available to us.
“We are well-prepared. This farmland was abandoned for close to 20 years now. We thank Mr. President who has reactivated NALDA and given this directive.
“He has given funds to reactivate more than 300 hectares. It would take care of over 300 families in direct labour.”
Ikonne revealed that NALDA would commence preparation of the land in January 2021based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the Authority would sign with the College of Horticulture.
He also assured that NALDA would provide funds as well as buy-off the farm produce of the participating youths.
To this end, he tasked the youth to engage in agriculture as well as embrace National Young Farmers Scheme to boost agricultural productivity.
Ikonne also commended the College Provost for establishing, Farms, Research, Partnership and Linkages Office, promising that the Federal Government would revive the agricultural sector for the benefits of all Nigerians.
Also speaking, the Provost of the College, Dr. Babawuro Mahmoud Ali, showered encomiums on the Executive Secretary of NALDA for the bold initiative.
Ali represented by the Director Farms, Research, Partnership and Linkages, Abubakar Haruna Sai’id, described the visit as a good omen, relevant and timely.
He said the College was blessed with fertile land,water resources, competent personnel and technology to deliver all the technical services required in the agricultural sector.
The Director, further indicated the College readiness to partner with NALDA, adding that the mission of Mr. President to boost food productivity, generate wealth and create employment for farmers and youths would be accomplished.