FG to empower 77,400 young farmers on agric business

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The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) says it plans to empower 77,400 young farmers to engage in agricultural business.

NALDA said the agricultural businesses would range  from crop farming to animal husbandry across  the country.

Its Executive Secretary, Mr Paul Ikonne,  said this at a news conference in Abuja on Monday.

NALDA was established in 1992 but ceased to exist and function in 2000 before President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration revived it.

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Ikonne said: “We intend to have 77,400 young farmers injected into Nigerian farming business across the nation in different farming activities ranging from crop farming to animal husbandry.

“These young farmers will be drawn from the 774 Local Governments Areas of the country , with a pilot number of 100 per LGA.

“In this initiative, we will partner with governors for provision or donation of land and other stakeholders as this will create employment and food production will be increased,” he said.

According to him,  NALDA has also initiated ‘Back to Farm’ Programme to encourage everyone to go back to farm.

“This can be achieved by reaching out to the military and paramilitary organisations, National Assembly members, civil and public servants, journalists, corporate bodies, religious organisations and individuals.

“You will agree with me that all these organisations mentioned and some individuals have land that are not being put to use.

“We intend to encourage them to use these lands for farming even if it is for personal consumption,” Ikonne said.

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He said that NALDA’s mandate was to make agriculture a business and a source of wealth creation for the country.

“We intend to achieve this by increasing palm oil and soya beans production for export, among others.

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“NALDA under my watch will identify and bridge lapses hindering the attainment of food sufficiency in the country,” he promised.

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