Food security: Buhari directs NALDA to buy additional 5 spraying aircraft

Food security: Buhari directs NALDA to buy additional 5 spraying aircraft

By Bukola Adewumi, Abuja.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Executive Secretary of National Agricultural Lands Development Authority (NALDA), Mr Paul Ikonne,  to immediately procure additional five spraying aircraft to boost food security.

 

Buhari, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, gave the directive when the agency showcased its achievements in Abuja on Thursday.

 

He said: “In addition to the one spraying aircraft, I am directing the Executive Secretary of NALDA to procure additional five aircraft, in order to have each geopolitical zone covered.”

 

The president said that the Federal Government had procured various equipment for agricultural mechanisation, which included tractors, combined harvesters, pumping machines, surveillance and spraying drones, among others.

 

Buhari said that the Federal Government would keep procuring land preparation equipment until it had enough.

 

He enjoined NALDA to strive hard to facilitate the achievement of food security in the country, while also creating jobs in the agricultural sector

He underscored the importance of NALDA, saying that the agency was saddled with certain responsibilities, geared towards the creation of additional means of earning foreign revenue besides petroleum resources.

 

“Again, I charge the Executive Secretary of NALDA and his team to pursue this mandate vigorously without any discrimination, fear or favour, being an agency under the Presidency,” he said.

 

On training, Buhari said that in terms of human capital, several professionals in different fields of agriculture had been trained and equipped to offer specialized services in the needed areas.

 

He also said that many Nigerians, mostly youths and women, had been trained and empowered in the fields of mechanised farming, poultry farming and fisheries, among others.

 

“Within these two years of my bringing NALDA back, I am pleased that NALDA, under my watch, is achieving results that are directly and positively affecting the people, especially those from the rural areas.

 

“In line with my vision of seeing Nigeria lead in agricultural development, I believe that after having resuscitated NALDA, my successors will build on its legacies, so that this country can achieve food sufficiency in no distant time.”

 

Speaking at the event, NALDA Executive Secretary Ikonne commended the president for resuscitating NALDA, which was hitherto moribund, for the purpose of encouraging young Nigerians to embrace agriculture.

 

Ikonne said: “When we came on board, this administration did not inherit anything, in terms of equipment or infrastructure, from the old NALDA.

 

“But as we speak, NALDA has offices in almost all the 36 states, including the FCT, and has acquired tractors, farm implements.”

 

He also said that the agency now had farms across the six geo-political zones, adding that NALDA had empowered more than 50,000 young Nigerians, excluding women.

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