The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) on Sunday inspected ongoing projects at the 100 hectares of land donated to the Federal Government for the Farm Estate in the Agbeyangi community in Kwara.
Newsmen report that the Federal Government has recently approved the establishment of new integrated farm estates in the 109 senatorial zones of the country, to boost food security.
The Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, while inspecting the project in Agbeyangi, in Ilorin South/East of the state said it had a target of engaging over 2000 farmers in crop production and animal husbandry.
Ikonne said the project was a confirmation of the commitment of the Federal Government to provide employment and eradicate food insecurity, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He told residents of the community that the project would be one of the biggest in the country in terms of cultivation of yam, cassava and maize, adding that another would be for goat, rabbit and grasscutter rearing, processing and packaging.
“We are here to inspect and accept officially the 100 hectares of land donated by this community for NALDA’s integrated farm estate which the president mandated us to develop in all the senatorial zones to achieve food security and create jobs.
“The contractor has done a very good job in clearing the provided land and the community as well is willing and ready, to be engaged in this commendable landmark of the Federal Government. This also has afforded us the opportunity to educate the community that this project belongs to them,” he said.
He further stated that the farm estate would have an irrigation system that would support all-year-round farming and employ no fewer than 2000 people.
“This will empower the youth and women. The desire of the president is to ensure that our youths are engaged and attracted into agricultural businesses. Everything that is needed to start this farm is available,
” We will have all-year-round farming through irrigation. We will produce enough first for the community to have enough to eat, then it goes out to the state then to other states, the benefits are beyond the community,” he said.
He, therefore, urged every community to key into the project, adding that “the project is not supposed to be used for politics or to distract people from getting involved.”
”I am encouraging every community to key into this project, with the presence of the farm estate here; it would first develop this community, create at least 2000 jobs for the people, increase their incomes through agriculture, increase the GDP such that their standards of living would improve greatly,” he said.
Earlier, the NALDA boss and other officials visited the palace of the traditional head, the Alangua of Agbeyangi, Aliyu Baba, to brief him on the activities of NALDA and how the project would benefit members of the community.
The over 100-year-old traditional ruler expressed his appreciation and promised to support the project to ensure its success during his lifetime.
Responding on behalf of the community, Mr Mohammed Abdulkadir, explained that the 100 hectares of land were donated to NALDA by Agbeyangi and Eleyode communities to wipe away poverty, unemployment, food insufficiency.
He said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had been signed to activate the implementation process of the project by NALDA.
” This community promises its cooperation with the government through the NALDA in areas of providing protection for the plant and equipment to be installed to ensure the success of this project.”
“The land provided for the project is a plain terrain rich in potential to access surface and subterranean water supply to galvanise all forms of agricultural practices slated for the achievement of the project,” he said.
NAN reports that NALDA officials were accompanied by Kwara State Government officials to inspect ongoing work on the project expected to be completed in February 2022.