As NALDA to establish cashew processing plant in Kwara
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Tuesday, offered youth in the state 500 hectares of land in three Local Government Areas through the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA, initiative for young people.
AbdulRazaq made this known to journalists in Abuja after his visit to the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, in Abuja.
According to him the youth in his state have been his priority in terms of creating employment for them, which agriculture remains the biggest sector to accommodate all willing young people who want to change their story for glory.
He also disclosed that the administration has put in place special agricultural programme for young people in the state, which he explained that it was part of the reasons he came to visit the NALDA boss in order to expand their own already on the ground.
The Governor added that there is a serious plan to up-scale fish production in which his state is second to Ogun State, animal husbandry, and crop farming across all the LGAs in a short time.
He said: “We are here to key into the Federal Government agricultural programme, it is an ideal programme to kickstart massive agricultural programme for youth employment, which we actually said this is an important programme which we need to key into, and we can’t just wait till when Federal Government has made the pronouncement, we have to rush forward and get it, and I am glad that Kwara will be for the pilot programme.
“We are fully ready, the land is ready and in the next week or two, we issue them with a certificate of occupancy so that the program can begin immediately and when we say immediately we are looking at August. We want the first farmers to be in the field by August.
“To start with, we are beginning with 500 hectares for three local governments as pilot scheme. Now within the pilot scheme, we look at the programme and how to improve on it and extend to all the local governments, and from there, expand forthwith and bring more youths to cultivate the land.
“To start with now in terms of fish farming Kwara State is second to Ogun State, we want to expand that tilapia in particular, animal husbandry, and virtually everything. We have different crops for each local government and we will improve from there.”
He also added that the way his administration is going and keying into the NALDA programme for youth across the country even young people who studied engineering and others would be attracted to go to into agriculture., and he has all Kwara youth in mind to find a place for livelihood, employment and wealth creation in agriculture.
“We cannot call numbers now. In a year’s time, we want thousands of youths both graduates back to the farm; people who studied engineering will be farming who will now see that there is benefit in farming, money in farming and advancement in farming”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary, NALDA, Prince Ikonne, disclosed that the Federal Government will establish a cashew processing plant in Kwara for the North Central zone.
“As the Governor had said, Kwara rushed into it and they are getting one of the best out of it for being the pilot state and the governor is willing.
“Don’t forget that we already have cashew plantations in Kwara that are still there, almost 2, 000 to 3, 000 hectares and we have agreed as well that we will put the cashew processing plant for North Central in Kwara State”, he stated.