The National Agricultural Land Developement Authority (NALDA), has said that the newly established Integrated Farm Estate in Katsina State, is expected to generate N1.7billion in the first one year.
Executive secretary/chief executive officer (CEO) of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, disclosed this on Monday during the commissioning of the farm estate in Suduje, Katsina State, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ikonne expressed optimism that the project, when replicated across the country will increase GDP, reduce
unemployment and will go a long way towards achieving food security.
“The entire farm has the capacity to generate over N1.7b in the first year,” he said.
He said the estate, established on a 100-hectare land donated by the Katsina State Government, is designed as cyclical, where every process is part of a value chain, adding that the farm has the capacity to engage 1,500 women and youth directly.
Identifying sustainable development as the only way to promote rational utilisation of resources and environmental protection, Ikonne said the Integrated Farming System (IFS)
holds a special position as nothing is wasted since the by-product of one system becomes the input for another.
He said the farm is divided into 80 hectares for crop production and 20 hectares for animal production, processing and packaging, with growing of feeds, which include recycling animal wastes as fertilizer for plants, and growing plants to feed the animals.
“With the farm’s poultry, fishery, rabbitry and bee keeping unit, about 95 per cent of the nutritional requirement of the system is self-sustained through resource recycling.
“As the number of enterprises increase, the profit margin also increases and further generate employment opportunities to the farming communities all year round and provide better economic and nutritional security,” he explained, adding that the estate is designed with complete production chain for food and livestock, an irrigation system so that farmers will have three production cycles in a year.
This, Ikonne said will go a long way to
uplifting rural life through increased income following the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, with focus on the most vulnerable members of the society like widows, poor and unskilled, and teeming youths.
He noted that the NALDA Integrated Farm is deliberately designed to accommodate, empower and position a new set of 1,500 agro entrepreneurs every year from this category.
“This program is under NALDA’s National Young Farmers Scheme (NYFS), which
Mr President launched in November 2020. We will take in new farmers every year (and farmers pass out and move on to become independent after being trained and making money). This will attract and keep young people busy in crop and livestock production all year round,” he said.
The participating farmers are from 13
communities, namely Suduje, Madobi, Kaya, Sharawa, Sukwanawa, Dadinkowa, Daberan, Benga, Kurneji, Zari, Mazuji, Tambu and Dannakola, said Ikonne who also said that the farmers were being trained on best agricultural practices in crop farming, livestock, poultry, rabbits and fish farming.
According to Ikonne, “The Integrated Farm Estate comprises 40 poultry pens with a capacity of over 400,000 birds, fish ponds with a capacity of 200,000 fishes, cow and goat pens with a capacity of 500 animals, rabbit pens with a capacity of 3,000 rabbits, bee apiary with a capacity of 540 litres of honey per harvest, crop farming, packaging and processing zones.
“The estate has a school, clinic and a residential area, with 120 units of one bedroom apartments so that some farmers and their families can live and work in the farm.”
He noted that the integrated farm has a processing and packaging zone for fish, chicken and pepper, adding that farmers from outside the estate will also have their products, especially pepper processed and packaged so they can get more value.
Speaking further, Ikonne noted that for continuity and sustainability, the organisation has designed a management system whereby Jaiz Bank will manage the entire facility with a team of professionals.