The National Agriculture Land Development Authority (NALDA) is set to empower 500 youth farmers in crops, poultry and animal husbandry in four villages in Akwa Ibom.
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Prince Paul Ikonne who disclosed this while inspecting suitable land in four different community said youth in the area will be trained in different fields of agriculture in the area.
Ikonne said NALDA is saddled with the mandate of harnessing the full potentials of the vast arable lands in Nigeria, empowering small holder and large scale farmers and mechanize, support the drive for Food and Fiber security while assisting in diversifying the nation’s economy, improving household incomes and enhancing revenue mobilization and generation nationwide.
He said the under the Young Farmers scheme, NALDA’s hope is to encourage youth to take into farming. To attract, encourage and empower 1000 farmers from each of the 774 local government areas annually cutting across the entire agricultural value chains.
“Now that the communities has given us land, our responsibility is now to develop the land using agriculture, that is what we are going to use to engage them and empower them into meaningful production and modern agriculture.
“What we are saying is not what will happen in the next 40 years, but what we will start in this budget year that we are entering now 2021, because it has been captured in the budget and Mr President has made the fund available for this.
The Executive Secretary maintained that agriculture is the highest empower of labour and government is leveraging on agriculture to reduce unemployment in the country.
“This is what we are going to be doing to use the 40 hectares for crop plantations and inter-crop activities, thereby engaging about 200 youths in these four communities that has donated the land. And for the animal husbandry, we are going to be doing goat and poultry farming, that also we engage not less than 300 farmers, total of about 500 farmers directly, that gives you the picture of what the community will look like, if we engage 500 youths.
On his part the NALDA state coordinator,Mr Imu Imu, who explained that the scheme is open to all the community in the country and he enjoyed other community leaders in the state to encourage their people to participate in the programme.
“All we want to do in NALDA is to farm and feed the nation and get out youth employed, thereby getting food sufficiency in the country. All are invited because hunger does not know political colouration. Hunger does not know religion, so we want to use this opportunity to appeal to everybody to tap into what NALDA is doing,” he said
Speaking on behalf of the participating villages, the village head of Ikot Ukpong Akpa Edem, HRH Obong Mfon Williams Akpan, while applauding the government for the project appealed to the government to provide basic amenities and infrastructure in the area.
“The problem we have is now water, roads, all other infrastructures to enable us have a befitting farms. Today, there is no water here including farm road, tractors and everything should be provided, the four communities are ready to work with NALDA in this project.
The four participating villages include Ikot Obong, Ikot Ufen, Ukana Mkpa Eyop and Ikot Ukpong Akpa Edem Villages.
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