The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), has commissioned 120 housing units and an empowerment centre for farmers in Borno State as part of efforts to boost food production.

The facility located in Dustman village, comprises a clinic, school for children of farmers, a worship centre, solar -powered boreholes and access roads.
Speaking during the commissioning of the housing units, Prince Paul Ikonne, Executive Secretary of NALDA, explained that the initiative was to encourage young Nigerians to venture into agriculture and provide farmers with good accommodation.
Ikonne said: “Today, we have commissioned 120 housing units built for farmers in Borno. The aim is to give farmers good accommodation.

“The other centre is the Agriculture Empowerment Centre where youth and women would be trained within three to four months.

“Thereafter, they will be given a start-up packs to enable them do agribusiness on their own.

“All these are geared towards reducing unemployment and achieving food security. The empowerment centres are new project of NALDA.”
He explained that NALDA was already in touch with farmers, who would be supported with inputs and, in turn, train budding agriculturists.
He pointed out that each state would benefit from the scheme, while calling on state governments to utilise the scheme as a means to create jobs for the teeming populace.
Speaking further on the Empoernment Centres, the NALDA boss said: “Currently, we have partnership with some individual farmers that have provided their farmlands and space for us to activate the empowerment centres.

“Like in Osun State, we have a farmer whose farm is in good shape and up and running. All NALDA needs to do is to upgrade it to the level of being an empowerment centre.

“We also have a farm in Nasarawa State. A farmer also made available his farmland. That is also 80 to 90% ready for commissioning.”

Ikonne disclosed that the Centres would have fishery poultry, animal husbandry and raffia grass field, all aimed at creating jobs for the people.

“The importance of these agriculture empowerment centres is to create job opportunities and also encourage young Nigerians to go into agriculture.

“We will be more delighted to have it done with corporate organisations or individuals, so that it will be anchored around them and the farms will be managed by them while we empower the youth from the proceeds that come from there.”

He further revealed that farmers would be recruited in batches, saying that, “we are looking at 250,000 young Nigerians across the country, to empower them in different fields in the first phase.”