Abia, Imo farm estates ready for inauguration –FG

The Federal Government on Thursday announced that two farm estates located in Abia and Imo states had been completed and were ready for inauguration.

It said the Integrated Farm Estate in Ariam Elu-Elu, Ikwuano Local Government Area, Abia State; and the Acharaugo Emekuku Integrated Farm Estate, Owerri North Local Government Area, Imo State, had been completed on a total of 135 hectares of land.

The government disclosed this through the National Agricultural Land Development Authority in a statement issued by the agency in Abuja.

It said the Ariam Elu-Elu farm estate was constructed on 100 hectares of land donated by the community, as NALDA carried out the land clearing exercise on the facility.

“The farm which currently boasts of 50 fish ponds with a capacity of 150,000 fingerlings and 3,000 fishes, has been completed,” the statement read in part.

It added, “The farm also has three solar-powered industrial boreholes to cater for its water needs, a 2km road with drainages, solar-powered street lights, office block and residence.

“For the cropping areas of the farm, some high-yielding, pest resistant varieties comprising 40,000 dwarf cavendish, valerie and big lady finger species of banana trees have been planted on 25 hectares of the land.”

The Executive Secretary, NALDA, Paul Ikonne, after inspecting the farm estate, said the objective of the project was to empower youths, inject life back into rural Nigeria and reduce urban migration.

“This project is in line with Mr. President’s mandate to NALDA to create jobs through agriculture and encourage Nigerians to produce what we eat and eat what we produce,” he stated.

Ikonne said the project would benefit about 400 women and youths of the community, as the beneficiaries had been trained to run the farm for their economic benefits.

The agency also stated that the reactivated 35 hectares Acharaubo Emekuku Integrated Farm Estate in Imo State, which was abandoned for over 30 years, had been completed and set for inauguration.

It said some of the existing facilities on the farm were resuscitated, while some new equipment were introduced by the Federal Government to boost the facility’s output.

“The farm currently has six poultry houses with 18 pens that contain about 10,000 birds, three goat houses with 196 goats, three pig houses containing 108 pigs, three solar-powered boreholes, access roads and drainage, as well as solar-powered street lights,” NALDA stated.

It added, “Just like other NALDA farm estates, the target of the Acharaubo Farm Estate is to create job opportunities for the youths and women of the community.”

NALDA had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Imo State to take the abandoned integrated farm estate, reactivate it and engage the people of the community.

The MoU signing led to the reactivation of the facility by the Federal government which had been abandoned for more than three decades.

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