By Bukar Bolori
National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) said 2,040 youth would be engaged in it’s planned fish farming in Borno State.
NALDA’s Executive Secretary, Prince Paul Ikonne has also announced the organisation’s partnership with Borno State’s owned Plastic Company in bagging of food items.
Ikanne, who on Tuesday paid a courtesy visit on Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum said following recent restoration of Borno Plastic Company by the governor, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), has placed order for production of two million pieces of plastic sacks, mostly for 50kg capacity.
He said: “We have seen what you (Zulum) are doing, we have seen your factories and I want to inform you that in one of your factories, the sack manufacturing factory, NALDA is placing an order for two million sacks for packaging purposes in nationwide food programme in which Borno has been selected as one of the pilot states.”
Ikonne, while assuring that NALDA will continue to patronize products from Borno’s Plastic Company to promote local content, told Zulum that his visit was on President Buhari’s directive with the mandate to reactivate all of NALDA’s farm estates abandoned in different parts of Nigeria.
He disclosed that Borno and one other state have been chosen as pilot states where 2,040 young people will be engaged into fish farming in Borno alone.
Ikanne noted that the 2,040 young farmers will be trained and properly equipped on fish processing and packaging under the National Young Farmers Scheme flagged up by the President, back in November last year.
Meanwhile, the governor has paid tribute to his predecessor, Senator Kashim Shettima for his bold vision and heavy investment in the acquisition of capital intensive agricultural machinery which makes Borno one of the most agriculturally equipped states in Nigeria.
Zulum gave this commendation, while responding to Ikonne, who expressed shock with the volume of agro equipment in Borno’s possession.
Zulum said: “On those agricultural equipment you mentioned, frankly the credit goes to my predecessor, His Excellency, Kashim Shettima for his vision and making such a huge investment in shopping variety of agro equipment from all parts of the world. The governor at that time, set up an agric transformation committee, to which I was a member and we travelled together to China, Turkey, India, Pakistan, United States identifying equipment, negotiating them directly and buying them.
“Today, Borno has incredible volume of far reaching agricultural equipment which include different factories for production agricultural equipment, for food processing and net houses among others.”
He noted that several of the equipment could not be used because of the insurgency that restricted access to farmlands, particularly in the rural areas.
Zulum however assured the NALDA boss of Borno’s determination to put all equipment to maximum use in safe farmlands.
The governor thanked the NALDA boss for his visit and for his interest in supporting ongoing agricultural restoration efforts in Borno.
He called on NALDA to accord special priority to internally displaced persons in the selection of young farmers to be trained and equipped on food processing, promising that Borno government will work hand in hand with NALDA towards successful execution of all interventions for the benefit of people of the state.