President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to commission the Integrated Farm Estate in Katsina, which is built by National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA).
The commissioning of the first NALDA Integrated Farm Estate by President Buhari is expected to take place on Monday next week in Daura, Katsina State.
It would be recalled that NALDA was established by the administration of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida vide Decree No. 92 of 1992 to execute a National Agricultural Land Development Programme that would address the chronic problem of low levels of utilisation of abundant farmland and rural labour resources as well as the high cost of land development.
The agency was however scrapped in 2002, 10 years into its existence, by President Olusegun Obasanjo led administration.
NALDA was resuscitated last year June after President Buhari’s administration amended the Act establishing the agency through the National Assembly to optimally deliver on its mandate of developing the rural communities through agriculture.
Speaking on the commissioning of its Integrated Farm Estate, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, said the project was initiated and completed within six months.
Prince Ikonne told newsmen in Katsina during his courtesy visit to the state governor that in the pilot phase of the programme, which the agency had selected 14 states where it would train 100 youths in three Local Government Areas each on various forms of agricultural production.
He noted that the pilot states were selected from the six geo-political zones of the country, as more states would be selected in subsequent phases of the programme to maximise its impact on the economy.
Ikonne said: “the essence of the programme is to engage as many Nigerian youths as possible by giving them employment and empowering them with skills and tools to handle the business aspect of farming”.
“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that farming will be fully mechanised to make it more attractive and more profitable. And that is what NALDA is driving. In this project, we will engage institutions, corporate bodies, governments, and individuals to lease their land that is not in use so that we could put it to use in a way that will contribute to economic productivity and youth employment”.
The integrated farm estate is expected to have poultry pens, goat pens, rabbit pens, fish ponds, crop farming areas,processing and packaging plants, storage, clinics, residential area, school, training centres as well as an administrative facility.