New Telegraph

Buhari resuscitates NALDA to engage youths in mechanised farming

…targets creation of 774,000 jobs annually

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the resuscitation of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and the retrieval of all the agency’s abandoned farm estates in order to engage the youth in modern farming methods. With the resuscitation of the agency, which had been abandoned in the last twenty years, the President projected the employment of at least 774,000 youths annually, drawing 1,000 youths from each of the 774 local governments of the country.

According to a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari in his remarks at the launch of the National Young Farmers Scheme, designed by the NALDA to spur youths’ interest in farming, said with the plan for mechanised farming, the country would achieve food security and export her surpluses in good harvest years. To achieve these targets, the President had offered to directly supervise NALDA as an authority under the Presidency.

While the President maintained that agriculture remained the backbone of the Nigerian economy, being the largest contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), he promised that his government would do more to expand, modernise and revolutionise the nation’s agriculture, its most important asset.

Buhari said: “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 mechanisation through this scheme and I am confident that Nigeria under my watch, 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.’’

He noted that the resuscitation of NALDA would make Nigeria food sufficient and in a few years begin to earn more revenue from export of agricultural commodities. “By virtue of my passion and desire for agriculture and also as a farmer myself, I am directly supervising NALDA as an authority under the Presidency. “I am asking the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the state governments to give full cooperation to NALDA in its activities.

With the success of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme spearheaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and new programmes to revive cotton, palm products and cocoa, the next few years will see a vast difference in our agricultural performance.’’

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