• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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NALDA distributes inputs to farmers to boost food production

Farmers’ security cost piles pressure on food prices

As part of efforts to ensure the availability of staple food in Nigeria amid dwindling global resources and food shortages, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), has distributed agricultural inputs to farmers in Abia State, in South-East, and Kebbi and Yobe states in North- West Nigeria.

The accredited beneficiaries of the programme received high-grade fertiliser, herbicides and improved maize seeds for Abia and Yobe states while beneficiaries from Kebbi received improved rice seeds.

Paul Ikonne, executive secretary, NALDA, who led the team in Abia State, said that the inputs were to assist farmers across the country, to maximise crop cultivation for improved yields and increased food production.

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Ikonne in a statement in Abuja on Thursday said that the programme was in furtherance of the government’s mandate to ensure that Nigerians produce what they consume while promoting the availability of affordable foods.

“The essence of what we’re doing is to ensure Nigerians understand the importance of farming, make sure we produce what we eat and reduce the price of food in the market. We are expecting nothing less than 340 hectares to be cultivated by these farmers.

“NALDA will continue to support with agricultural inputs regularly, the contact details of all the beneficiaries have been captured in the agency’s database for follow-up assistance and more farmers will be added to the list from time to time,” he said.

Suleiman Lawal, director of finance at NALDA, who led the team to Yobe, said it was expected that in the next three to four months, the outputs from this programme, would lead to a significant drop in the cost of food items in the market.

The beneficiaries drawn from six local government areas of the state: Bade, Yusufari, Jakusko, Nguru, Karasuwa, and Machina, were also educated on fertiliser application techniques for maximum yield.

“The NALDA empowerment programme is in line with President Bola Tinubu’s directive to NALDA to reach out to farmers across the country to ensure they produce food while helping the country achieve food sufficiency.

Habibu Aliyu, a rice farmer in Kebbi State, described the intervention by NALDA as timely, as accessing fertiliser had been a daunting task. He promised to utilise it to the best of his abilities.

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Azeezat Jimoh, a women leader of the Yoruba Community in Abia State, appreciated the government for the gesture, assuring that they would put in the needed efforts to produce enough food.

It would be recalled that President Tinubu had declared a state of emergency on food, hence the move by NALDA to compliment the president’s food security through an empowerment programme to cushion the effect of the high cost of living.