NALDA land is not for RUGA – ES

The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Prince Paul Ikonne, has debunked insinuations that lands donated for Integrated Farm Estates across the country would be used for RUGA.

The NALDA boss said the Authority is not interested in taking over lands from the people but only concerned about youth empowerment and Food security.

Prince Ikonne stated this on Monday while receiving land donations for wheat farming in Ribadu village, Fufore local government area of Adamawa state, to boost wheat production in Nigeria and enhance the country’s economic and agricultural growth.

Ikonne said comparing NALDA’s farm estates to Ruga, insinuating that it is Ruga or saying the lands being donated by communities are being converted for Ruga is misleading.

According to Ikonne, what should really interest Nigerians and Nigeria as a country is availability of food and achieving food security.

“The issue of taking land from people and using it for Ruga is totally misleading, and is not what we should dwell on now, what we should focus on is how do we achieve food security because everybody needs food to survive, whether oppositions or no opposition, religion or no religion, tribe or no tribe everybody needs foods”

“And this is the reason why NALDA is advocating and reaching out to communities and villages to make their land available for development in order for Nigeria to achieve food security,” he added.

On the land donated, Ikonne said NALDA is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the community to perfect the modalities of the farm.

The land is expected to engage 1000 youth from the community, on a 2 youth per hectares sharing ratio in wheat farming.

While receiving the land at the Palace of His Royal Highness Dr. Abubakar Aliyu Ribadu (Gidado), in Ribadu, Prince Ikonne said President Muhammadu Buhari is interested in empowering the farmers and raising more millionaires through agriculture.

“What we do is to empower the farmers; the president is interested in raising more Millionaires from farming and the agricultural sector and also attracts more people to go into agribusiness”

Responding, His Royal Highness Dr. Abubakar Aliyu Ribadu (Gidado) said the process of engaging the farmers should be properly done so that only genuine farmers would benefit from the project noting that if shabbily done NALDA’s image would be dented in the eyes of the people.

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