Buhari returns NALDA after 20 years


The agricultural revolution promised by President Muhammadu Buhari to guarantee food sufficiency in the country is moving to the front burner with the revival of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA, after it was scrapped 20 years ago.

At a press briefing today, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Office of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne disclosed plans to partner with stakeholders and mobilise Nigerians to return to farming.

Ikonne said the agency hopes to drive agriculture as a business and a source of wealth creation for the country by encouraging plantation agriculture and value change strengthening in the sector.

Specifically, he emphasised the plan to increase production of palm oil and soya beans for export among other agricultural commodities to boost agricultural production even as he said with the support of President Buhari, NALDA would achieve its mandate of accelerating national food sufficiency.

“NALDA will partner and collaborate with other government agencies and international organisations in order to attain food sufficiency and make agriculture the main source of revenue for Nigeria from export.

“We are conscious of that and have assembled a team of professionals and we will keep co-opting more committed, knowledgeable and dedicated people to work with. I call on patriotic Nigerians who are interested in working with NALDA as volunteers to go to our website to register,” he stressed.

The NALDA chief similarly said the agency would provide farm inputs to existing farmers in its bid to assist them during this farming season to improve their yield.

He disclosed plans to establish the Buhari Young Farmers Network comprising of 77,400 young farmers to be injected into the farming business across the nation in different farming activities ranging from crop farming to animal husbandry.

“These young farmers will be drawn from the 774 Local Governments, with a pilot number of 100 per local Government. In this initiative we will partner with Governors for provision or donation of land and other stakeholders as this will create employment and food production will be increased,” he explained.

In addition, NALDA as part of its six months target will pursue the ‘Back To Farm’ initiative where it intends to encourage everyone to go back to farm.

To achieve this, the organisation will reach out to the military and paramilitary organizations; legislators, civil and public servants, journalists, corporate bodies, religious organizations and individuals to embrace farming at least for personal and family consumption.

“You will agree with me that all these organizations mentioned and some individuals have land that are not being put to use, so we intend to encourage them to use these lands for farming even if it is for personal consumption,” Ikonne explained.