Buhari writes Senate to confirm board members for EFCC, upstream, downstream bodies

Farm’ll generate N400m, produce 250,000 broilers annually — Ikonne

 By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

As the Buhari-led administration intensify effort to galvanise food production towards self-sufficiency, President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, weekend, commissioned a 30, 000 bird capacity Integrated Farm Estate constructed by the National  Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA, at Gasamu, Jakusko Local Government Area of Yobe State.

During the commissioning, Sen Lawan in his remarks urged the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, to up-scale production capacity of the farm as 250,000 chicks annually will be inadequate for the host community alone.

 He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for approving the project in Yobe State.

 He said: “I want to appeal to NALDA that we want the capacity to grow beyond 250,000 chicks per annum, because I want to assure you that our people will patronise this, they will exhaust the 250,000 chicks and they will need more.

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“Presently 30 youths will be engaged to manage the farm, this is only the direct employment, if you look at the indirect opportunities when you establish poultry farms across this zone, you would have put in many youths to manage these farms.”

Speaking on the farm’s capacity and impact, the NALDA boss explained that the 20 hectares integrated farm estate currently has 10 poultry pens with capacity of 30,000 birds including an incubation centre, and will produce about 250,000 broilers annually for commercial purpose.

 According to him from sales of day-old chicks alone, the farm estate has a target revenue generation of N8.160 million monthly, which 30 youth who are direct beneficiaries will manage the birds, which one person is assigned to 1,000 birds arrangement.

He (Ikonne) also maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate to NALDA remains sacrosanct with the mission to ensure agriculture becomes the rallying point for investment, job creation and being attractive to young people with the aim of growing ‘what we eat and eat what we produce’.

He said: “We are here today for the commissioning of this 30,000 bird capacity farm estate which is specially made to produce broilers.

“This centre is like a reproduction centre that will be producing our locally improved birds that will be distributed across the country in order to encourage our local breeds and maintain our old stocks.

 “This farm has a capacity of generating 850 crates of eggs daily and generating N1.1 million daily from the sales of the eggs only.

 “And these eggs will also be incubated as we have an incubation centre here in order to produce day-old chicks that will be sent to other poultry houses across the country. Annually, we are expecting to have not less than N400 million generated from this farm.”

 He also made it known that the incubation centre will produce the parent stock which will lay eggs for the production of day old broilers for sales, with the production capacity of 250,000 annually, and the 30,000 birds will be used for egg and meat production for the 30 benefiting farmers.

“The youths from this immediate community are the first set of beneficiaries which we believe will engage them meaningfully as they will be making their money from this centre.

“We believe that it will reduce unemployment and this community has been enjoying peaceful coexistence within themselves, that this farm will increase that peace within them.

“I want to thank the host community, especially the President of the Senate for his support and the Governor of the state for providing us the enabling environment to see that the desire of Mr President is achieved.

“NALDA integrated farm estates are meant to empower the community, to develop the land within the community, empower the youth, create employment and reduce hunger in our land”, he stated.

 However, according to him the farm estate will be sustained based on the engagement of Prime Farm that would be the manager, while Jaiz Bank and other commercial banks will be NALDA’s financial partners.

 “The firm that will manage this farm (Prime Farm) are already on ground, and we work with Jaiz bank and other banks as our bankers in order to make sure that this project is sustained”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Yobe State, Mai-Mala Buni, in an address, expressed joy over the commissioning of the project, and said it is first of its kind in Yobe State.

 Being represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Baba Wali, Buni spoke on the need on sustainable and succeeding farm as he urged NALDA and beneficiaries to place the farm on same page with his administration’s objectives by introducing novel ideas for effective and efficient performance and productivity.

 “I commend NALDA for establishing the centre which I consider a remarkable complementary effort of the present administration towards revitalization of agriculture for prosperity and a stronger nation.

“I want to use this opportunity to tell you that we are ready to cooperate with NALDA to ensure that this project sustained”, he stated.

 Also, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Muhammed Abubakar, being represented by the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, ARCN, Professor Garba Sharubutu, commended Buhari over the initiative and foresight in the agricultural sector.

Abubakar also assured the Ministry’s commitment and partnership with NALDA to improve the rural economy and the livelihood.

He said, “As a ministry, we challenge the state government, the local government, and the traditional rulers to ensure that this project is not abandoned, that this project should be protected.”

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