NILDS DG Empowers Farmers In Kwara To Achieve Food Sufficiency

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Efforts of the government to achieve food sufficiency are gaining momentum with free land clearing, distribution of improved seedlings, and fertilizers, among other incentives, to local farmers in Kwara State.

Speaking during the launching of the phase one of the agriculture intervention programme for the farmers in Ilorin on Thursday, the Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Abuja, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, in collaboration with a farmers group, Kwara Renaissance Group (KWRG), said that the programme aimed to address food security and current high cost of food in the country.

Professor Sulaiman, who said that the intervention aimed to complement efforts of both the federal and state government to ensure food sufficiency, added that it will develop capacity of local farmers in such areas of rice and all food crops cultivation in the state.

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Tractors and some other items distributed

“It’s an inspiration borne out of the need to feed ourselves and feed the nation because we’ve been undergoing a lot of crisis. Both federal and state government have been doing their possible best, but they can’t do everything. We need to complement their efforts.

“We have people that are ready to farm, as well as arable lands but the issue is how to assist them in their areas of need for better yields. Such as farm instrument and tools, farm supplements, fertilizer, farm clearing, improved seedlings and stipends. These are Herculean task to some farmers and that’s what we’re providing for them.

“As individuals that are resourceful, that have the reach and connection, we also need to complement farmers and governments on what they’re doing. What I’m doing today is in line with capacity building of our institute to build capacity of Nigerian farmers, so that we can grow abundant food to feed the nation.

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The DG NILDS, who said that registered beneficiaries were selected after obtaining forms, added that more beneficiaries would be included in the programme in the next phase as an ongoing project.

He also said that evaluation and monitoring would be carried out on the people to assess progress on their individual farms, adding that the initiative could go into data bank of the state government to know number of farmers in the state, arable lands, and how federal government can come in to assist them.

Professor Sulaiman also called on every person that God has blessed to emulate the initiative, saying that, “We need to assist the underprivileged. And the underprivileged starts from our farmers. When you have food on your table, you have everything. When you are hungry, you have nothing.

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Also speaking, the representative of the KWRG, Ibrahim Toyeeb, said that the Amana Farm2feed initiative is capable of increasing prosperity among farmers in the state.

Toyeeb, a tomato farmer, who said that it takes about N60,000 to do farm clearing of a hectare of land, added that the initiative is providing land clearing free of charge with other incentives such as seedlings, agricultural education, enlightenment on more productive way of farming and financial support to all the beneficiary for the period of six months.

“KWRG also has a team that would do monitoring and evaluation of the beneficiaries to ensure we have good results from selected serious farmers”.

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