The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) is set to engage thousands of youths across the country in mechanized agriculture and technology-based farming in order to enhance food security.
Paul Ikonne, the agency’s executive secretary, disclosed this in Katsina State, where he paid a working visit in preparation for the program’s launch.
He shared that the agency has selected 14 states from the country’s six geo-political zones in which to enter the pilot phase and that NALDA plans to train100 youths in three local government areas of each selected state on various agricultural value chains and production.
Ikonne further explained that more states will be added to the scheme in subsequent phases of the program in order to engage as many Nigerian youths as possible, giving them employment and empowering them with the skills and tools to handle the business aspects of farming.
NALDA is responsible for making more lands rapidly available for cultivation, an about-face from what it has achieved in the past.
Its other areas of focus include reactivating Nigeria’s produce marketing boards , which would help standardize agricultural produce for better foreign exchange earnings in the country as well as improve the standard of living for farmers.
While addressing reporters after a closed-door meeting with the NALDA team, Gov. Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State said the state government will provide arable land for the agency to train and engage youths in mechanized agriculture.
“I believe this approach is a major departure from what NALDA used to do, this is a more practical approach and it will impact directly on the rural and national economy,.” Masari said,.