The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has concluded plans to establish an integrated farm estate on its 1,200 hectares of land in Ekiti State.
This disclosure was made by NALDA’s Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Paul Ikonne during a media chat with the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mr. Ikonne noted that NALDA’s farm estate in the aforementioned state is located at Okeako in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti, and had been in existence for over 20 years. Sequel to this, Mr. Ikonne submitted that the agency’s 50-hectare Cashew farm, storage and a processing facility at Okeako farm estate would be reactivated and upgraded.
Commenting on the recent development, the traditional ruler of the place, Alajowa of Ijowa Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Omopariola, assured the farmers at the meeting that the authority was back and better. The royal father said: ‘’We are here to make sure that this abandoned estate comes back to life with the result that you will be in a position to take out and sell your farm produce, unlike in the past when you couldn’t.
“This time, it will be fully processed because whatever we are going to produce on this farm will also be processed.
“We will put processing plant too, so that we can add value to what we produce, this will also help your youths to be engaged because agriculture is the way to go.”
The monarch also called for dialogue between farmers and herders around the communities to forestall any future clash that might scuttle the project. The monarch expressed optimism that both parties will work to ensure the success of the project. He said: ‘’I believe that the herders want their cow to be healthy and fattened, so that they can sell and make profit. What this means is that they also want conducive environment to do their business.
“So, NALDA is going to engage them and the communities; we will create an avenue where they can feed their cattle, so that we all can live in peace.’’ he concluded. Naijabusiness.com.ng understands that the recent disclosure is a big boost towards achieving self-sufficiency in agriculture and transforming the states. If implemented, the project has the capacity to employing teeming youths, save hard-earned foreign exchange and contribute immensely to national development.