2 The president stated this in Abuja on Tuesday when he inaugurated the National Young Farmers Scheme designed by the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) to elicit more youth interest in farming.
3 He assured all those interested that an enabling environment would be created for full participation.
5 “We will do more to expand, modernise and revolutionise our agriculture, which is our most important asset.
7 “This administration will be achieving agricultural mechanization through this scheme and I am confident that Nigeria, under my watch, will achieve food security by producing most of what we eat.
8 “In good harvest years, we may even export our surpluses and earn foreign exchange,’’ he added.
12 “With the success of Anchor Borrowers programme spearheaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria and new programmes to revive cotton, palm products and cocoa, the next few years will see a vast difference in our agricultural performance.’’
13 The president said that all the necessary approvals that NALDA required for effective take-off, beginning with areas of adequate land preparation for crop farming and livestock rearing, had been given.
15 “I am told that, so far, 4,333 families have benefited from this scheme and it is expected that many more individuals and families will benefit as the programme is rolled out.
16 “I now flag off the National Young Farmers’ Scheme. It is my expectation that the scheme will take in young Nigerians, graduates and non-graduates alike, and be part of government’s effort to reduce unemployment and contribute to the regeneration of agriculture and our economy.’’
17 The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, commended the president for his steadfastness in repositioning the agricultural sector since coming to office, opining that the country had already felt the impact of the policies of the administration.
20 He assured the president that the concerted effort to revive interest in farming would tackle poverty and create wealth.
22 “Our focus is to engage 1,000 farmers from each of the 774 Local Government Areas, thereby creating 774,000, direct employment annually,’’ he added.