The National Agricultural Land Development Authority NALDA’s Integrated Farm Estate and fish villages in Borno State, North-East Nigeria are expected to provide over 4,000 job opportunities for the indigenes especially those returning home from the Internally Displaced Persons IDPs camps.
The farm estate situated on a 100 hectare land is expected to create over a 1,500 jobs for the people, while the fish farms numbering about 40 cutting across all the 27 local governments areas would give over 2,500 women opportunities to earn a living from fish farming, processing and packaging.
The Integrated Farm Estate would focus mainly on livestock – cattle, goat, sheep, poultry and pasture as well as crop production among others.
Speaking during an inspection tour of the proposed Integrated Farm Estate under construction in Jere Local Government Area of the state, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, said efforts were being made to ensure that the facilities come into operation before the end of the year.
He noted that the state has a lot of potential which remained largely untapped, noting that the idea was to discover these opportunities through NALDA’s projects.
Re-instatement of IDPs
According to Ikonne, the authority’s intention is to reinstate the IDPs as well as engage them in the entire agriculture value chain and provide them with the enabling environment as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Prince Ikonne stated that NALDA would not be distracted from its present efforts to unravel the agricultural potentials in every state of the federation nothing that NALDA current initiatives across the country would help reduce the nation’s annual food import bill, address unemployment as well as increase the contribution of agriculture to Gross Domestic Product GDP.
Ikonne commended the state governor for the land donation, support as well as his passion towards the development of agriculture.
“If we have all the governors in the state throw their support around Mr. President’s vision concerning agriculture, I bet you Nigeria will change for good,” he said.
The Borno state governor, Professor Babagana Zulum said he was particularly excited about the potential of the project to create jobs for citizens who had lost their sources of livelihood to the current insurgency bedevilling the area.
“The people of this area have completely lost their means of livelihood and having this project in Borno State would ensure that many of our youths would be employed,” he stated.
He appreciated NALDA’s commitment to turning around the fortunes of the state while expressing satisfaction with the quality of work being done at the site.
“And from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the people of Borno State, we remain eternally indebted to the NALDA executive secretary for the good jobs that he has been doing.
“This again is another thing I want to see happen in Nigeria – the executive secretary is not sitting down in his office but going round to ensure that what they’re doing is right and I encourage him to continue in this spirit.
“Looking at the quality of the job which has been done; 90 per cent of the projects done here have excellent quality and we need to partner with NALDA,” he added
Professor Zulum further allayed concerns of the sustainability of the current investments given the wave of insecurity in the state in recent times noting that a sustainability plan had already been put in place to ensure that the projects were secured from vandals.