Economy

CBN Pledges Partnership, As Buhari Launches Integrated Farm Project In Daura

Caption: President Buhari, second left, Gov Bello Masari of Katsina State and Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, during the inauguration of the Integrated Farm Project on Monday in Duara.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, July 19, 2021, in his Daura, Katsina State hometown launched the first National Agriculture Land Development Authority (NALDA) Integrated Farm Estate, with the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele pledging collaboration to replicate it across the country.

This, he said, will come by way of providing affordable and accessible finance to farmers in Nigeria’s rural communities and provide jobs for its teeming population, thereby making life more meaningful for inhabitants of those areas under the integrated farm programme..

The Integrated Farm Estate, comprises 40 poultry pens with a capacity of over 400,000 birds, Fish ponds with a capacity of 200,000 fish, Cow and Goat pens with a capacity of 500 animals, rabbit pens with a capacity of 3,000 rabbits, bee apiary with a capacity of 540 litres of honey per harvest, crop farming, among others, according to the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, is expected to generate over N1.7bn in the first year.

Performing the inauguration, President Buhari stressed his administration’s commitment to the goal of ensuring that Nigeria produces what Nigerians eat, adding that the government was determined to get 100 million Nigerians out of poverty during his tenure.

This target, he believes, remains realizable, stressing that his administration would continue to drive policies that will ensure food sufficiency and boost exports, emphasizing that the revamp of NALDA was geared towards encouraging integrated farming for employment and security

In line with this, he added that “no excuse is good enough for Nigeria to remain a mono-economy”

Speaking at the event, Emefiele noted that the NALDA integrated farm estate would serve as an agricultural hub for inhabitants of the area with its wide range of facilities to support the rearing of poultry, goat and rabbit pens as well as fish ponds, crop farming areas, processing and packaging plants, storage, clinics, residential area, school, training centres, and an administrative facility.

While commending the Buhari administration for resuscitating NALDA to optimally deliver on its mandate, Emefiele noted that Nigeria’s survival as a country was hinged on resourcefulness and synergy among the government’s ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in areas of policy formulation and implementation, which he emphasized was essential to the attainment of Nigeria’s desired economic growth.

He also, therefore, reiterated the CBN’s readiness to partner with NALDA and explore the potential of providing affordable and accessible finance to the beneficiaries under the integrated farm programme in order to scale up production and provide jobs for Nigerians. He also urged deposit money banks in the country to support the NALDA mandate, which he noted aligned with the developmental priorities of the CBN.

Speaking further, Emefiele reiterated that the CBN, through the deployment of well-targeted intervention programmes to farmers in the rural communities, was aiding the government’s efforts at improving job and wealth creation.

“These measures are also supporting our nation’s food security objectives. Nigeria is likely to make significant strides over the next three years in repositioning our agricultural sector for greater growth, given the combined efforts of NALDA, and the CBN’s in making land and credit available to farmers,” he added.

The CBN Governor also emphasized the successes of the bank through specific interventions such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP), Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (AADS) and the Private Sector-led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (p-AADS), the Agri/Business Small and Medium Enterprise Investment Scheme (AgSMEIS) and the Targeted Credit Facility (TCF), all of which he noted were aimed at stimulating investments in critical sectors and segments of the economy, particularly those with high-growth impact and high employment potential.

Continuing, the governor said that the measures taken by the Buhari administration had provided finance to key sectors and segments, with their implementation tailored to support the administration’s policy of repositioning Nigeria to become a self-sufficient food producer, creating millions of jobs and supplying the domestic industries with their raw material needs.

“Our development finance efforts were also driven by the need to diversify the economy by reversing the ugly trend of relying largely on revenues from crude oil,” Emefiele said, adding that the CBN was also positioned to ensure the integration of rural farmers into the Federal Government’s Economic Sustainability Plan, which is focused on providing five million homes with electricity using renewable energy.

Also speaking the host-Governor, Bello Masari and his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, lauded the commitment of the administration in boosting agriculture to enhance food security and employment.

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