Wednesday, October 7, 2015

FG establishes Agric parks worth over N1bn in two states

IN her determined efforts to revolutionalize the agricultural sector and make Nigeria the greatest exporter of agricultural produce, the Federal Government through the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, has embarked on the establishment of agricultural parks in two states of the country. The parks each located in the Northern and Southern parts of the country among other things would boost the agricultural sector and employ several thousands of unemployed youths as well as generate foreign earnings for the country. Already, the park in the North which is located in President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state, Kastina has gulped over one hundred million of Naira in its first phase and has also employed many youths. The Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Mallam Abubakar Mohammed explained that the park in the Northern zone located at Sabuwa, in in Sabuwa Local Government Area of Katsina state has agribusiness clusters in its first phase development. According to Mallam Mohammed, the first phase is made up of poultry production to include table bird and egg production, feed milling, aquaculture like hatchery, grow-out, fish smoking, green house to include tomato and chilies pepper, open field cultivation of crops rain-fed and with drip irrigation. It will also take care of food processing like crop processing, vegetable preservation, chicken processing, export grade fish-smoking and fish oil production as well as bio-gas production, bio-pesticides, bio-fertilisers, compost and organic manure production. The NDE DG told Vanguard that with about N1 billion, he would transform the place to a world class agricultural base within the shortest period of time and also employ many youths roaming about the streets. Speaking when he visited the Governor of Katsina State Aminnu Bello Masari with the team of the NDE officials, Mohammed explained that the NDE Agricultural Park an all inclusive agricultural business provides solutions to barriers to successful agricultural entrepreneurship. He further said that it would promote farm extension services to beneficiary communities, drives agricultural technology adoption and adaption, value addition and commercialisation of products of research and development. He also said, “As a matter of fact, the whole gamut of it is designed to strategically key into the federal government’s commitment to developing agriculture as a business and in the process provide decent job opportunities to the teeming unemployed youths. “Beneficiaries of the park which include graduates of tertiary institutions will undergo hands-on-training in poultry management, aquaculture, poultry, fish ration formulation, export grade smoked fish production, crop cultivation, green house and irrigation techniques, processing and packaging techniques alongside mentor ship, civic responsibility and life skills training.”

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