The Federal Government on Tuesday announced its readiness to assist farmers, mostly youths, to cultivate 3,000 hectares of land in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
It said the farming programme, which would be done by about 3,000 youths, was part of activities under the National Young Farmers Scheme of the Federal Government.
The Executive Secretary, National Agricultural Land Development Authority, Paul Ikonne, who announced the government’s decision in Ebonyi, said preparation of the land and training of farmers would soon commence.
He disclosed this while inspecting the large expanse of land owned by the state, adding that the Federal Government would mechanise the farm, provide inputs and other logistics to the young farmers.
Ikonne in a statement issued in Abuja by NALDA, said the project in Ebonyi was part of measures adopted by the Federal Government to create jobs, generate wealth and ensure food security in the state and across the country.
He said NALDA would sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the state on the programme and would reactivate the abandoned Akanleke Hatchery Farm in Abakiliki to boost commercial poultry production.
According to him, the authority would further establish an integrated farm estate on another 104 hectares of land provided by the state government, scheduled for completion in October this year.
“We are establishing an integrated farm estate in Ebonyi like we are doing in other states. This is the mandate of Mr. President, that we should reactivate abandoned farm estates and develop new ones for food security,” Ikonne said.
Responding, the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, requested that NALDA should consider the production of fingerlings and poultry in its integrated farm estate in Ebonyi, as 90 per cent of the state’s poultry needs were provided by Abia and Cross River states.
He pledged his commitment to the actualisation of the proposed projects in the state and urged those in leadership positions to imbibe the virtue of hard work to surmount the plethora of challenges confronting the nation.
Umahi commended the Federal Government and its agency, NALDA, for coming up with the initiative of reviving farm estates in various states, adding that this would go a long way in enhancing the country’s agricultural sector.