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Business News of Thursday, 28 April 2022

Source: www.thisdaylive.com

NALDA targets 1,000MT of maize in new food security drive

National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA)

The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has flagged off its “Aggressive Food Production” project in eight communities in Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State in a bid to boost food security.

The projects involved the cultivation of 200 hectares of maize farm for the 2022 wet season, targeting about 1,000 metric tons at harvest.

Other interventions included the provision of five solar-powered boreholes for dry season irrigation farming and to serve as a source of water supply for the communities as well as distribution of inputs.

The Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, during a visit to the farms, explained that the initiative was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to ensure that no matter the level of food crisis that may arise from the effect of the Russia/Ukraine war, Nigeria would have enough food for its citizens.

He said, “So these steps we’re taking is to ensure that Nigeria does not experience any form of food shortage or go cap-in-hand looking for food”.

The NALDA boss added that the authority had already taken delivery of inputs including seeds, herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers to 600 beneficiary farmers through the traditional ruler and youth leaders.

He pointed out that prior to the distribution of the input, land preparation activities had been carried out by the authority.A total of hectares was donated by the communities for the projects with 200 hectares so far made available in the first phase.

Ikonne said the targeted yield from the cultivation was 1,000 metric tons of maize which would serve as a great boost to the government’s food security efforts.

In addition to the input distribution, goat pens and veterinary clinics are being built by NALDA at a central location for the communities.

The clinic and pens which are near completion would serve the veterinary needs of herders and goat breeders in all eight communities.

According to him, NALDA is encouraging farmers with the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to aggressively produce food by meeting them at their point of need in their localities.

He said, “You can see the excitement on them, this being the first time they’re having the federal presence of any kind, this shows how committed Mr. President is in reaching the unreached using agriculture.

”It also shows how committed Mr. President is in achieving food security and engaging our youth. What NALDA is doing at this time is to encourage farmers and individuals to aggressively go into farming in order to achieve food security considering the situation the world would be going into as a result of the Russia/Ukraine war”.

Ikonne, further disclosed that there are plans for NALDA to cultivate wheat in the state after the wet season harvest. He assured the farmers of continuous support all through the farming process through extension services to ensure maximum yields -as well as market availability as NALDA would off-take yields from the harvest.

The traditional ruler of the communities, Kanankur Sule Longvel while receiving the inputs on behalf of the communities, commended the authority for being the first to bring such an intervention to them.

He assured that the inputs would be fully utilised, and further appealed for the construction of access roads to the farms and tractors to be made available to enable them to engage in mechanised agriculture.