President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday unveil milestones so far achieved by his administration in agriculture through the efforts of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA).
This was made known by the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, who also said NALDA is currently cultivating 500 hectares of land for wheat production under dry-season farming to further assure food security.
The hitherto moribund NALDA had been revived and brought under Buhari’s direct supervision with a directive to recover agricultural lands belonging to the federal government across the country and deploy same to food cultivation to ensure food security, employment generation for the young population, enhance the country’s GDP among others.
The authority had hit the ground running by establishing integrated farm estates in the six geo-political zones and embarked on large-scale rabbit and rice farming including livestock, and poultry among others, as well as engaging youths in agriculture.
Ikonne, at a media briefing, said Buhari would showcase the achievement of the authority since its resuscitation, adding that there had been growing interest among Nigerians to embrace farming while the Buhari administration had also provided them with the required support.
He said under the ongoing initiative by NALDA, a lot of tractors and other heavy equipment had been procured for the repositioning sector – all of which he said Buhari will showcase at the august occasion.
Also, reacting to suggestions that the country may face an acute food shortage next year, Ikonne said this was unlikely as many Nigerians have now embraced agriculture.
He said except for climate change-related challenges which are beyond human capacity, Nigeria is well prepared to avoid hunger.
He said, “I don’t see Nigeria going hungry in 2023” adding that any contrary forecast is only a “dooms-day prediction”.
He, however, said Nigerians must adhere to the advice of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) to avoid losses during the farming season.
Meanwhile, Buhari had directed NALDA to retrieve all agricultural lands in order to empower the youths and create job opportunities in the country.
The authority is among other things saddled with the mandate of harnessing the full potentials of the vast arable lands in Nigeria, empowering smallholder and large-scale farmers as well as mechanised agriculture.
The authority further seeks to support the drive for food and fiber security while assisting in diversifying the nation’s economy, improving household incomes, and enhancing revenue mobilisation and generation nationwide.