By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As food prices continue to soar in the country, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA, Wednesday, expressed readiness to launch ‘Grow Your Farm’ project to boost food security and create jobs.
This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary, NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, during a courtesy visit by Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, at the authority’s headquarters in Abuja.
Ikonne said his agency is working hard to add value to the lives of young people in Nigeria as they remain precious assets the country has, hence the initiative of the ‘Grow Your Farm’ project.
According to him the programme is to encourage every household to start growing food within their environment using flower pots, but will be called ‘vegetable pot’, and that NALDA will support them with necessary materials as a way to get every Nigerian on board in food production and availability.
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He said: “Last time we did make announcement base on Mr President’s approval for us in getting thirty thousand soil doctors and extensions service providers. The training will be flag up in Borno State on the 1st of March.
“The Governor of Borno State has provided the list of all these young graduates about 1, 000, as for his own State and has made all necessary contributions towards achieving the success of that programme.
“I informed the governor about our ‘Grow Your Farm’ project, which will encourage every household to start growing their food within their environment using their flower pot instead of flower pot it will be called vegetable pot to grow their food, NALDA is going to encourage that.
“We will be distributing bags, soil, and seeds for them to do that so that every household will use every available space to grow what they eat. Remember, when the President said that we must produce what we eat that has been the watchword of NALDA.”
He also made it known that NALDA and the Borno State Government are on the top of discussion on a fish farming programme that will engage 2400 young people, which already the State has submitted its list and provided farm locations.
“We had the discussion between NALDA and the Borno State Government on our fish farming programme which we are engaging 2040 farmers. Borno State has submitted their complete list and has provided the locations.
“As we speak contractors are already at the site and in the ten locations for the project. So the governor of Borno State has fully keyed into Mr President’s idea of achieving food security in respect of the challenges that the State is encountering, and the Governor is making it easier for NALDA to function and for farmers to be at home while farming”, he said.
On machinery, equipment, and processing plants, he (Ikonne) said, “They have processing mill so for us, we have an understanding with Borno State Government to increase the capacity of their feed processing mill in Borno State.
“And outside the bags that they are producing for NALDA their official production company so to say, producing sack bags for NALDA to use to package our finished product.
“So we have like an entire agric chain understanding with the government and people of Borno State through the Governor.”