The first National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) Integrated Farm Estate, in Suduje-Daura, Katsina State has been commissioned by President Muhammed Buhari.
The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) was already moribund when he assumed office.
We had to resuscitate it to meet the growing needs of the country. I am happy to see that my directive to the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of National Agricultural Land Development Authority, Paul Ikonne, and his management team, when I launched the National Young Farmers Scheme (NYFS) in November 2020, is gradually taking shape.
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At the launch of the National Young Farmers Scheme, I recall that I told the management that 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.
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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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The Integrated Farming scheme, again, opens up more opportunities for employment, and most importantly creates communal-based system that promotes food security, skills acquisition and entrepreneurship.
I am impressed to see that this NALDA Integrated Farm Estate is purely organic and it further expresses my desire for Nigeria and Nigerians to have food sufficiency and begin to earn more foreign income through agriculture. As a government, what I am seeing here today shows my administration’s desire is genuine and realizable that our peoples’ orientation to farming can be changed for good.
I wish to restate my commitment that getting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is realizable. The country is robustly blessed with good weather conditions, good soil, human and material capacity, and resilience to make a difference by all the hardworking youths.
We can do it, and we will do it. No excuse will be good enough to remain a mono-economy with all the challenges in oil production and fluctuating global prices when we have vast opportunities in crop and livestock production.
As the world becomes more globalized, countries will continue to draw from their competitive advantage to remain relevant. My belief, and it is also shared by many Nigerians, is that our country has a special advantage in food and livestock productions that we must harness and promote to feed ourselves and build a firm structure for exportation.
Our vision of a robust agricultural economy continues to provide amazing results. Across the country today, we are seeing rising public and private interests in agriculture, especially among the youth, and steady migration from subsistence to commercial farming.
With the support of public institutions, like the Central Bank and Bank of Agriculture, old tools are giving way to more mechanized styles of farming, credit lines are becoming more accessible, and farming is becoming more acceptable and fashionable. Indeed, we are witnessing a revolution in the agricultural sector.
I have directed all Federal Government institutions to work in synergy in lifting and diversifying the economy and to give NALDA all the support it needs to expand the Integrated Farm Estate across the 109 senatorial zones in the country.
I thank Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State for providing 100-hectare land for the project and call on other governors to emulate him and provide full support to all Federal Government Agencies working to implement our vision of lasting economic growth and prosperity.