The Federal Government will soon launch “Grow Your Food” initiative, a major take off for the agricultural components that will enable households to grow food in their confinement.
The Executive Secretary of National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Mr Paul Ikonne announced this when Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno visited him on Thursday in Abuja.
Ikonne said the programme was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s initiative that Nigerians must produce what they eat to ensure food security.
“This has been the watchword of NALDA,’’ he said.
According to him, this has become imperative because the programme will aid the transformation of the nation’s agricultural development.
Ikonne said further that the food initiative could also ensure the availability of food to underprivileged and resource-poor households.
Farms can be established and maintained within a small patch of land or with no land using a few inputs.
“Home gardens are maintained for easy access to fresh plant and animal food sources in both rural and urban locales.
The agency’s boss said that under the programme, NALDA would distribute bags of soil and seeds to households so they can use any available space to plant crops.
Ikonne acknowledged that Borno has submitted its list of interested households and has provided locations.
He added that contractors have already moved to the site in 10 locations for the project.
“So, the state has fully keyed into Mr President’s idea of achieving food security, irrespective of challenges facing the state.
“And the governor is making it easier for NALDA to function and for farmers to be at home while farming.
“We are focusing on everything in the entire agricultural value chain because they have machinery, equipment, processing plant and processing mill,’’ NALDA scribe said.
In his remarks, Gov. Zulum assured that his government would do everything possible to key into the food security policy of the Federal Government.
He further pledged to ensure the cultivation of vast agricultural land in the state with a duty to increase food production in the region.
Zulum said “this has been agreed upon during the recent visit of the Executive Secretary NALDA to Maiduguri.
“The state government will provide the counterparts funding requirement for the programme to kick start’’.
The governor said that his administration was concerned about food security, adding that the government had increased the area under cultivation by about 300 per cent in the last 20 months.
He said that the government had procured fertilisers, chemicals and empowered the farmers.
“We have mapped out strategies to go from low yielding and subsistent farming to a high yielding technology farming system with value addition.
“We are investing hugely in irrigation and I think by doing so, food production will not be a problem,’’ Zulum said