The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), to establish a rice farm in Ebonyi State, in a sustained effort to strengthen the food security agenda of the federal government.
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive of NALDA, Mr. Paul Ikonne, at the MoU signing ceremony, said the farm would be established on a 52 hectares land owned by the NYSC in Ezillo, Ishielu Local Government Area of the state while the authority will provide inputs and technical know-how to develop the farm.
He added that both parties have something to offer to make the partnership a huge success by achieving food security and creating jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerians.
He pointed out that the authority would be tapping into the vast resources that the corps currently has across the country in order to provide sufficient food for Nigerians as well as engage members in a productive manner.
He also said NALDA would also establish an integrated farm estate in partnership with the NYSC in no distant time so the latter could produce and sell its own food to generate income.
The initiatives are part of measures by the Federal Government to empower the youth through agriculture.
Ikonne said: “NYSC has the foot soldiers and every year they churn them out while NALDA has the land and the technical know-how, this understanding is for the man power and the technical know-how to come together in order to produce the much needed job opportunity and food security that Mr. President has been advocating for, for the country.
“Nigeria is in dire need of creating job opportunities and this collaboration will contribute to the country’s GDP growth because when there are idle youths, you would have youth restiveness but when they are engaged you would see effectiveness. So our visit here today is to seal our understanding that we already have going forward.”
He told the Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, that the maiden farms estate being championed by the authority will be inaugurated in Katsina State by the end of July.
However, the NYSC DG pointed out that the corps human capital development remained huge, adding that there’s need to tap into the potential in order to contribute meaningfully to national development.
He said NYSC members are skillful and ready to work if given the necessary support.
According to him: “The NYSC members are knowledgeable and they are very skillful and committed and all that they want is just to give them the support that they and the sky is their limit.”
He urged the NYSC members who have background in agribusiness at every given opportunity to key into NALDA’s Young Farmers Scheme.