The Governor of Kwara State AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has said that the state would partner the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) on youths in agriculture.
Governor AbdulRazaq said this while speaking with journalists after his meeting with the Executive Secretary/CEO of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, in Abuja.
The Kwara State Governor said a 500 hectares has been set aside as a pilot program in 3 local governments, afterwards, the programme would be implemented in the entire state.
He said the target was to bring youths, both graduates into agriculture and make them understand that agriculture is beneficial.
“We are here to key into the Federal Government agricultural programme, it is an ideal programme to kickstart massive agricultural programme for youth employment, this is an important programme which we need to key into, and we can’t just wait since the Federal Government has made announcement, we had to rush forward. Am happy that Kwara will be the first for the pilot programme.
“We are fully ready, the land is ready and in the next few weeks, we will issue them with certificate of occupancy so that the program can begin immediately by August.
“We are beginning with 500 hectares for 3 local governments as the pilot scheme. Now within the pilot scheme, we look at the pros and cons and how to improve on it and extend it to all the local governments, and from there, expand forthwith and bring more youths to cultivate the land.
“We target that in a year time, we will have thounds of youths both graduates back to the farm, they will see that there is benefit in farming.
“We want to expand our fish farm in the state, especially tilapia fish, animal husbandry, we have packaged different crops for each local government and we will improve from there”, Governor AbdulRazaq said.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Ikonne said plans were on the way to establish a cashew proceesing plant in Kwara for the North Central zone.
“It was a fruitful meeting, and like the governor had said, Kwara rushed into it and they are getting one of the best out of it for being the pilot state and the governor is willing.
“Don’t forget that we already have cashew plantations in Kwara that are still there, almost 2000 to 3000 hectares and we have agreed as well that we will put the cashew processing plant for North Central in Kwara state”.
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