By: Samuel Orumade
AS part of the extension of the Federal Government National Agricultural Land Development Authority’s Integrated Farm Estate, the government of Kwara State has donated 100 hectares of land for the project.
The project site, located at Agbeyangi Community, Ilorin East Local Government Area of the state is expected to benefit over 2000 farmers in farming activities and animal husbandry.
Speaking at the project inspection, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Paul Ikonne, said the farm estate is targeted towards realising the federal government food security agenda and creating job opportunities for youth and women in rural communities across the country.
It is expected to promote all year round farming, through an irrigation system. The ES used the opportunity to discard public assumptions of the NALDA project being used for the controversial RUGA initiative.
It is community-driven, he stated.
Ikonne disclosed that the estate would be used to cultivate root crops such as yam, cassava aside maize while other portions of the land would be reserved for goat, rabbit and grasscutter rearing, processing and packaging.
His words: “We are here to inspect and accept officially the 100 hectares of land donated by this community for NALDA’s integrated farm estate which the president mandated us to develop in all the senatorial zones to achieve food security and create Job”
“The contractor has done a very good job in clearing the provided land and the community as well is willing and ready, to be engaged in this commendable landmark of the federal government. This also has afforded us the opportunity to educate the community that this project belongs to them.”
He added: “This will empower the youth and women. The desire of the President is to ensure that our youths are engaged and attracted into the agricultural business. Everything that is needed to start this farm is available,
“We will have all-year-round production. We will produce enough first for the community to have enough to eat, then it goes out to the state then to other states, the benefits are beyond the community.”
“This project is not for political reason the president because of his passion wants to achieve food security before leaving office; he does not want to leave Nigeria the way he inherited it, so he wants to use agriculture to reduce unemployment.
“It is something that every community that has land should key into for their benefit, you can see that the place is opening up, it can no longer be a hiding place for criminals when there is development there is hope for the people.”