Government is setting up modalities to establish an integrated farm estate in Kogi State, North-Central Nigeria through the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA that would improve food production and create 3,000 jobs.
A visit to the site shows that the 700 hectares of land donated by 11-12 families in Okwuha Obaniyan village in Ajaokuta Local Government Area has a natural water wayside for irrigation farming that would ensure all year round food production.
Addressing the host community and village heads, the NALDA Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Paul Ikonne said the farm will have facilities such as school, clinic, residential areas, a meat processing area, a mini market to mention but a few.
He reassured the host community that the land would be put to use for their benefit. In his words, “these families that are donating the lands, the Federal Government is developing the land for you, what we are bringing belongs to you and what it means is that all the youths and women within your village would be engaged in this place”.
Ikonne noted that the farm is mapped out in such a way that there would be no friction between farmers and herders as the pasture area on the farm would cater for the feed needs of the animals on the farm and also be exported to other parts of the country.
He assured the community of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to easing poverty in the country, said the President intends to make millionaires out of Nigerian youths in the rural areas through agriculture and Okwuha Obaniyan village is blessed to be part of the programme.
He added that the land clearing would commence immediately and the first section of the farm estate would be commissioned by December 2021.
Meanwhile, the NALDA boss met with the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello earlier before proceeding to the farm site.
During the meeting, Ikonne explained the modalities for setting up the integrated farm estate saying it is in line with the President’s directive to establish Integrated Farm Estates in the 109 senatorial zones of the country to create jobs and wealth for women and youths. He maintained that a lot would be achieved through the farm estate establishment such as food security, employment generation, mitigating herders-farmers and farmers clashes while making Nigeria a power house of food production.
On his part, Governor Bello said his administration has been able to stabilise and sustain peace and security in the State, noting that herders fleeing different parts of the country migrate to the State and leave peacefully with the locals.
He said the project would further enhance the relationship between the locals and migrants into the State since it would create an enabling environment for everyone to cohabit peacefully.
According to the Governor, Kogi State serves as a shock absorber for the country as it is always ready to receive people from every part of the country in crisis situations and Integrated Farm Estates in all 3 senatorial districts would help cushion the effects of the shock.