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Buhari promises to deploy 5 spraying aircraft, tractors, others across the country

As part of efforts to achieve food security, President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to procure an additional five spraying aircraft, tractors and other farm inputs across the country through the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA).

The President disclosed this on Thursday at the occasion of showcasing the achievements of NALDA.

Buhari who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha said his commitment to a better Nigeria is not in doubt.

The President said he promised Nigeria that he will use NALDA to achieve food security and agricultural mechanization, adding that “what you are seeing here today, is one of the numerous achievements of this Administration in fulfilment of the promises made.

“The equipment you are seeing here today is part of the ones already procured by NALDA. In addition to this spraying Aircraft, I am directing the Executive Secretary of NALDA to procure additional 5 aircraft in order to have each geopolitical zone covered.

“Government has procured various equipment for agricultural mechanization such as tractors, combined harvesters, pumping machines, surveillance and spraying drones, etc. We will keep procuring land preparation equipment until we have enough.

“In terms of human capital, several professionals in different fields of agriculture have been trained and equipped to offer services in the needed areas. Similarly, many Nigerians, mostly youth and women, have been trained and empowered in the fields of mechanized agriculture, poultry farming, fisheries, etc,” the President said.

Buhari further stated that the role of NALDA is beyond just land clearing and preparation, he said its role, as clearly spelt out in the mandate that established it, encompasses the entire value chain geared towards food security and enough for export.

He, however, said that within these two years of bringing NALDA back, he is pleased that NALDA under his watch is achieving results that are directly and positively affecting the people, especially 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 in order for Nigeria to achieve food sufficiency in no distant time.

“I am proud that my administration will be bequeathing lasting legacies to the next administration with NALDA being a clear example. This is in addition to the recent discovery and commencement of drilling of oil in the north; the gains made in the area of securing lives and property in the country; and my commitment to free, fair and credible elections amongst many others.

“With our visionary leadership and passion for agriculture, we were able to secure Nigeria before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the entire world which was thereafter hit by the recession.

“But Nigeria did not feel much of the impact as badly as other countries because there was enough food from our grains reserves to cater for the period.

“I, therefore, urge corporate bodies, international organizations, and other countries to partner with and invest in NALDA in order to further develop our agricultural space.

“Having started impressively in this Sector, I hereby renew the commitment of this government to the funding and development of agriculture until we have enough for consumption and export,” he added.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne said that more Nigerians are going into food production after NALDA was resuscitated two years ago.

He said the authority has empowered over 50,000 youth across the country within the last two years.

The NALDA boss ruled out food shortage in 2023, stating that the Authority had acquired machinery and implements that have accelerated farming across the six geo-political zones.

He said currently, NALDA is doing 500 hectares of wheat production in this dry season farming.

He, however, said that NALDA will embark on massive food production across the country in an effort to assist the government to achieve food sufficiency.

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