As Fed College of Horticulture donates 100 hectares of land
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA, has commenced moves to reactivate 300 hectares of abandoned farmland in Gombe State to engage and empower young people.
The move was led by the Executive Secretary, NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, who visited the farmland at the weekend for the spot assessment in order to kick-start dry season farming.
Ikonne disclosed that the farmland was one NALDA’s farm estates but abandoned many years ago, and explained that the authority is also acting according to the directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the NALDA boss over 400 youths will be engaged in cultivating the land, which decayed facilities in the farm will be rehabilitated and utilized to boost food production and wealth creation as being pursued by the Buhari-led administration.
He said: “NALDA wants to partner with farmers in Gombe State to achieve the desire of Mr President for Nigeria to farm what it will eat.
“So the essence of our visit today is to extend our hands of partnership and collaboration in order to give our farmers a sense of belonging. To give them all the necessary support so that our output will be desirable.”
Meanwhile, the Federal College of Horticulture, Dadin, Kowa, Gombe State, also donated 100 hectares of farmland to the NALDA in order to consolidate on what the Authority has in the State and to create that partnership platform as agencies of the Federal Government pursuing the same goal in food production and security.
He (Ikonne) promised that his organization will commence preparation of the land on the strength of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the FCH, and also made it clear funding will come from his organization including off-takers to buy the produce.
He said, “We have wealth of knowledge and a great understanding of what agriculture as a business is. We will also be engaging with the institution.”
While responding, the Provost and Chief Executive Officer, FCH, Dadin Kowa, Dr Babawuro Mahmoud Ali who was represented by Director Farms, Research, Partnership and Linkages, Abubakar Haruna Sai’id, commended the NALDA boss for the vision and effort to add value to the lives of young Nigerians said the visit to his institution was a good omen and timely
Sai’id also explained that with the College’s fertile land, water resources, and competent personnel it is ready to offer and deliver technical services that would facilitate and fast-track the expected development of the sector in Gombe State as a partner, which he indicated that the College will partner NALDA in order to achieve the Buhari-led administration’s vision and mission to boost food security, create employment and wealth for young people and farmers in general.