The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Youth Service Corps NYSC to establish a rice farm in Ebonyi state as part of the efforts of the government to empower the youth through agriculture and also support the Federal government’s food security drive.
The rice farm would be established on 52 hectares of land owned by the NYSC in Ezillo, Ishielu Local Government Area of the state while NALDA would provide inputs and the technical know-how to develop the farm.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne said NALDA and the NYSC have something to offer to make the partnership a success.
“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 manpower 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”
Prince Ikonne said NALDA is tapping into the vast resources that the NYSC has across the country in order to provide sufficient food for Nigerians and engage the Corps members to be more productive.
He stated that the rice is the first step amongst many others to come as NALDA would also establish an Integrated Farm Estate in partnership with the Corps in the nearest future so that NYSC can produce its own food and also sell to generate income for the Corps.
“Nigeria is in dare need of creating job opportunities and this collaboration will contribute to the country’s GDP growth because when there are idle youth, 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”
On his part, the Director-General of the NYSC Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim said the NYSC’s human capital development is huge and there’s a need to tap into the potential in order to contribute meaningfully to national development.
He noted that the Corps members are skilful and ready to work if given the necessary support.
“The Corps members are knowledgeable and they are very skilful and committed and all that they want is just to give them the support that they and the sky is their limit.
Brigadier General Ibrahim stated that he encourages Corps members that have a background in agribusiness at every given opportunity to key into NALDA’s Young Farmers Scheme.
He added that some Corps members who have benefited from some empowerment schemes of the Corps are doing very well on their own, managing their own businesses in their state of service comfortably without any form of harassment for the locals.
In spite of the huge investment in the water sector by the government and international organisations, water scarcity has grown to become a perennial nightmare for residents of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.