Ogun State has been selected to benefit from three Federal Government’s agricultural schemes aimed at making the state the food basket of the nation.
Executive Secretary of the National Agriculture Land Development Authority (NALDA), Paul Ikonne revealed this in a visit to the state governor, Dapo Abiodun.
Ikonne pointed that Ogun would benefit from the proposed Integrated Farm Estate, Garri Packaging Plant, and a training programme on soil testing and extension services for 200 young graduates with science and agriculture-related degrees.
He added that the Integrated Farm Estate would be sited in the three senatorial districts of the state, reiterating that the estate would incorporate everything from production to processing, packaging and marketing.
The Secretary also explained that the Garri Processing Plant would give farmers the opportunity of farming, knowing fully well that their efforts would not be wasted.
“We are running programmes and projects which Ogun State has been slated to be one of the pilot states. NALDA’s Integrated Farm Estate is going to be cited in Ogun State in the three senatorial districts of the state.
“The Integrated Farm Estate is a concept that takes in everything from production to processing, packaging and marketing, we also have residential areas for farmers inside the integrated Farm Estate.
“Knowing that Ogun has the highest capacity in cassava production, our Garri Packaging Plant will be located in the state, thereby NALDA will be the off-taker from the farmers, and we process it, package it accordingly and move it into the market.
“We are training young Nigerians based on the President’s directives on soil testing and extension services, so Ogun State is expected to nominate 200 people in the first phase.
“Again, Ogun is one of the states in the pilot stage of this programme, it will nominate young graduates that have agric or science-related degrees that will undertake this intensive two-week training.
“They will be empowered by NALDA with soil test kits and implements to collect soil samples after the training and they will begin to generate money for themselves, thereby making a living from the programme,” he said.
Ikonne further revealed that NALDA would not sit back and watch the state improve the worth of agriculture on its own.
He added that “the Authority would also be re-activating the 700 hectares of land at Joga-Orile immediately, with the hope that the reactivation will increase the status of the state in food production”.
The governor, Dapo Abiodun responding credited the success of his administration’s agricultural project to the support of the President, Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, stating that his administration holds agriculture as a “triple barrel pillar” that allows his state to feed its people, provide jobs and generate revenue.
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