Executive secretary of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority
(NALDA), Prince Paul Ikonne, has called on states that are yet to key into the Authority’s farm project to come on board and benefit from the project, saying that lands donated to NALDA are not converted for RUGA but for youth empowerment and food security.
The ES said “the issue of taking land from people and using it for Ruga is totally misleading, and is not what we should dwell on now, what we should focus on is how do we achieve food security because everybody needs food to survive, whether oppositions or no opposition, religion or no religion, tribe or no tribe everybody needs foods.
“And this is the reason why NALDA is advocating and reaching out to communities and villages to make their land available for development in order for Nigeria to achieve food security”.
Meanwhile, Adamawa State Government has donated land to NALDA for wheat farming in Ribadu village, Fufore local government area of Adamawa state.
The land is expected to engage 1000 youth from the community, on a 2 youth per hectares sharing ratio in wheat farming and NALDA is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the community to perfect the modalities of the farm.
Wheat was strategically selected for its viability in the community and also to encourage more people to go into wheat farming to meet up with local demands.
While receiving the land at the Palace of His Royal Highness Dr. Abubakar Aliyu Ribadu (Gidado), in Ribadu, Ikonne said President Muhammadu Buhari is interested in empowering the farmers and raising more millionaires through agriculture.
On value addition, Ikonne said NALDA would buy back the produce from the farmers to boost their earning and ensure availability of market.
“Most times farmers sell at very low prices because they just want to sell off and get some money but NALDA buying it back from them means they would sell at the right price in order to get value and NALDA would also recoup the investment they’ve made”
Responding, His Royal Highness Dr. Abubakar Aliyu Ribadu (Gidado), appreciated the executive secretary’s efforts and assured him of his support on the project while noting that the list of the beneficiaries would be made available to NALDA before the end of October.
Bulldozers are expected to move in and commence land clearing activities by the first week of November of 2021 and land allocation to selected qualified farmers would also commence simultaneously.
Earlier, Ikonne and his team were shown round a land that has been donated to the Authority in Sabon Gari, Yolde Pate, in Yola South Local Government.
According to the NALDA boss, the land is specifically for cow fattening, to boost milk and meat production in the state and the country at large.
Also, Ikonne and his team inspected ongoing harvest activities on its rice farm in Suju village, in Ganye local government area of state, as part of its efforts to boost rice production and enhance food security in the country.
On a visit to the farm, about twenty youth of the community that have been engaged by NALDA on a daily pay plan were seen carrying out harvest activities on farm.
The farm had commenced with land preparations and inputs supplies earlier in the year.
Being part of NALDA’s wet season farming programme, the farm is expected to yield at least 1000 tons of rice at the end of the harvest and there are already plans on ground to commence dry season wheat farming.
With the wheat and rice farm, training fish farmers on best practices by providing them with stainless steel ovens, and other upcoming projects like the mega groundnut storage facility to be established in Hong local government and the cow fattening facility to be established in Yolde Pate in Yola South, NALDA has covered the 3 Senatorial Districts in the state.