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Business News of Monday, 22 November 2021

Source: www.thisdaylive.com

Food Security: NALDA flags-off dry season wheat farming in Jigawa

NALDA NALDA

The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has commenced the dry season wheat farming in Jigawa State.

The 100-hectare farm, donated by the state government in Marke town, Kaugama Local Government Area (LGA) is expected to employ 300 youths from the area.

The Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive, of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, at the ceremony, said the wheat project currently is being implemented in nine pilot states, which had altogether donated 2,500 hectares of land to boost local production of the commodity.

He added that over 10, 000 metric tons of wheat is expected to be produced annually under the initiative.

He said the intervention programme was largely based on the soil texture of states, which is deemed suitable for wheat production as well as the governors’ track record of supporting agriculture.

While the state governments are required to provide land under the scheme, NALDA would provide input support, training for the farmers, supervise and support them all through the farming period as well as off-take from the farm, thereby ensuring availability of market for the harvest.

Ikonne, while addressing farmers during an inspection tour of the facility in Jigawa, commended the state government for the land donation, adding that the authority was prepared to help turn the state into a wheat production hub in the country.

He stated that NALDA is acting in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate to make agriculture attractive to youths as well as encourage them to see the profession as a way of life and means of earning money.

He said, "I am glad to inform us that the state government has provided us with land, but we would still ask Your Excellency to provide us with more lands as NALDA intends to make Jigawa the hallmark of wheat production in Nigeria.

“This 100 hectares donated or provided by the state government would take 300 farmers which NALDA would be providing them with the seeds, pumping machines, pesticides and herbicides and the end of the day NALDA would do the off taking from them so that farmers would have value.

“So it is purely an out-growers project that NALDA has brought to Jigawa state.”

The Governor of Jigawa State, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar said the state had been ranked amongst the top in wheat production in the country adding that with NALDA’s intervention, it would become the biggest wheat producer in Nigeria.

He said the effort of the state in developing agriculture is being complemented by the support from the Buhari administration through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) as well as NALDA’s intervention.

The governor further expressed in gratitude to NALDA for training 270 youths in the state to be soil doctors, noting that the gesture would go a long way in boosting best agricultural practices in the state.

He said the government would grant the authority’s request for more land donation, pointing out that the state had over 400,000 hectares of land that is good for all year round farming.

He said the state was ready to donate more land to NALDA especially as the purpose is for the overall benefit of the people of the state.