By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA, on Saturday, disclosed of training National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members on mechanized farming under the Back-to-Farm initiative towards enormous food production and job creation.
This was made known by the Executive Secretary, NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, during a virtual meeting with the Director-General, NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, and management.
Ikonne also expressed the readiness of NALDA to partner with NYSC to train corps members on new farming techniques with value chain benefits that would make them self-employed, produce food for the country and create wealth for themselves and also becoming an employer of labour.
He further stated that NALDA had designed a programme called, ‘Back-to-Farm’, in view of including corps members who are in great numbers among the Nigerian youth, which they would be actively engaged in agricultural training and incentives.
While speaking he described the corps as a veritable platform to harness skills of young Nigerians and graduates towards achieving self-employment and national development.
He said: “This is part of the agency’s mandate towards the implementation of the Federal Government’s agenda to ensure food sufficiency and diversify the nation’s economy.
“NALDA had designed a programme, titled; ‘Back to Farm’, where corps members would be actively engaged in agricultural training in a conducive environment with necessary incentives.
“The programme would enable Corps Members to engage in profitable mechanized farming.”
The NALDA boss also pointed that there are NYSC Farms across the country which could be used as training ground for corps members.
Meanwhile, the NYSC DG, General Shuaibu Ibrahim, commended the federal government for the initiative through NALDA, and also for the partnership move with NYSC under the initiative.
According to Ibrahim, the partnership will be of enormous benefit to corps members who most at times end up in the labour market waiting for white-collar jobs, but with the Back-To-Farm initiative basically designed for Nigerian youth, it would add value to their lives and secure their future as entrepreneurs along various value chains in the agricultural sector and contribute to the growth and development of the economy.
Also, the NYSC boss disclosed that the Scheme had mobilized over 350,000 corps members annually with different skills that would make them self-reliant and also employ other youth.