***Launches national young farmers scheme
By: Bamidele Fashube
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday ordered that all National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) abandoned farm estates be revived to further engage youths in farming.
This was even as he launched the national young farmers scheme designed by NALDA.
The President who gave the order during launch of the scheme at the Presidential villa, Abuja stressed that the current administration would ensure food security.
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According to him, the resuscitation of NALDA will bring about food Sufficiency noting that the country in few years, would begin to earn more revenue from export of agricultural commodities.
He said:“We will do more to expand, modernize and revolutionize our agriculture, which is our most important asset.
“I have directed that all NALDA’s abandoned farm estates be retrieved to enable thousands of our young men and women to be engaged in farming.
“This Administration will be achieving agricultural mechanization through this scheme and I am confident that Nigeria under my watch, we will achieve food security in producing most of what we eat. In good harvest years we may even export our surpluses and earn foreign exchange.’’
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To this end, he directed the Ministry of Agriculture and State Governments to give full cooperation to NALDA and its activities.
Consequently, Buhari noted that all necessary approvals that the Authority requires for effective take-off, beginning with areas of adequate land preparation for crop farming and livestock rearing, had been given.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary/CEO NALDA, Mr Paul Ikonne, said the discovery of oil in the country hampered the growth of agriculture and increased poverty in rural communities.
Ikonne said the resuscitation of NALDA after about 20 years of abandonment will go a long way in reducing unemployment in the country, especially among the youth.