NALDA to establish Integrated Farm Estate in Ebonyi


By Victor Nwegede

National Agriculture Land Development Agency (NALDA) has disclosed its concluded plan to establish Integrated Farm Estate in Ebonyi State.

Prince Paul Ikonne, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, on Monday made this known when visited Governor David Umahi in the state.

This according to the Secretary was in line with the policy of the Ebonyi State government to achieve food security and engage her teeming youths in agriculture programmes.

NATIONAL PANEL reports that after the NALDA Boss' closed-door meeting with Governor Umahi, proceeded to Isu, the headquarters of Onicha Local Government Area, where he was shown the 100 hectares of land meant for the Integrated Farm Estate.

He said the agency came to Ebonyi to partner with the state governor in considering that he keyed into the President's agenda of achieving food security in the country.

"We are in Ebonyi State to partner with the Governor of Ebonyi State, seeing that the Governor has keyed into the President's agenda of achieving food security in Nigeria.

"And with what the Governor has put in place infrastructure-wise, makes our job much easier because farmers will be able to convey their farm produce as a result of the good road network.

"We are establishing an Integrated Farm Estate in Ebonyi State because that is the mandate of Mr. President that we should reactivate every abandoned Farm Estate and develop new ones to achieve food security."

Prince Ikonne also noted that the eagerness of Goveenor Umahi to achieve food security and his total support for President Buhari's vision, especially in the areas of agriculture and resolving the herders-farmers' crisis, NALDA is in the state to partner with the state Governor to achieve this.

While expressing his joy over the land mapped out for the project, the Integrated Farm Estate, the NALDA Boss said: "We are fully ready to mobilize workers to the site to start the land clearing and preparations and construction of structures that are needed".

"Ebonyi has been selected to be the state to produce fingerlings and day-old chicks that will feed the entire southeast and South-South. That is our mission here in Ebonyi State...."

While extolling the efforts of Gov. Umahi, Prince Ikonne continued, "I am highly impressed with what the Governor is doing. Indeed, Mr. President will be proud of the Governor because this shows that the support that he is getting from Mr. President is not wasted, is properly utilized.

He beckoned other state Governors to pay a visit to Ebonyi State to improve their various states. 

Responding to questions on the size of lands donated for the establishment of the Integrated Farm Estate, the Executive Secretary of NALDA said:

"The Governor has donated through the community, 100 hectares of land and then, we have a private investor who has also made his 17 hectares available for us to partner with the production of animal husbandry.

"Then, there is another farm we are going to look at tomorrow which NALDA will take over and reactivate."

The Farm Estates, when completed, according to the NALDA Boss, will engage an estimated 3,000 young Nigerians. 

"This is in line with the efforts of the Buhari-led administration to make farming more attractive to the youths as contained in the National Young Farmers Scheme, which was flagged off in November last year," he added.

Prince Ikonne noted that with the availability of lands as made possible by Governor Umahi, "NALDA is going to kick-start the project and this Integrated Farm Estate will be fully commissioned by October this year."

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