The federal government has empowered 250 beneficiaries from Imo state on rabbit farming as it flagged off the second phase of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) empowerment scheme for young farmers in the area of rabbit breeding and rearing.
Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma while performing the official take off of the empowerment and handover of the Imo State office of the NALDA on Okigwe road Owerri, lauded the Presidency and said the programmes is aimed at empowering youths and growing the economy.
Governor Uzodimma maintained that the most effective way to ensure sustained socio- economic development in a state is to engage youths in productive ventures that will guarantee their meaningful employment.
He said that the programme will guarantee food security, empower youths and reduce restiveness among other benefits, pointing out that “engaging 774,000 youths across the nation would stimulate huge economic growth.”
The Governor urged the beneficiaries to take the business seriously, and assured that government has provided enabling environment for them, including being their primary off-takers, ready to purchase whatever they produce.
Earlier in his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NALDA, Mr. Paul Ikonne, thanked the governor for donating an office for both the State and South East Zonal offices.
Ikonne said the target was 774,000 beneficiaries, 1000 from each local government area across the federation, and that the Federal Government will be providing the rabbits and their feed free to the beneficiaries.
He said with Imo as a pilot state and South East Zonal Head Office, land had been bought from Ngor Okpala for the project, and that all materials and resources for the zone would be delivered to the other states from Imo. He encouraged every community to donate land and key into the economically viable venture.
The NALDA is under the Presidency and is saddled with the mandate of harnessing the full potentials of the vast arable lands in Nigeria for the purpose of empowering and supporting small holder farmers both on large scale and mechanized scales. He said the effort will lead to food and fibre security and assist in diversifying the nation’s economy, improving household income and enhancing revenue mobilization and generation nationwide.
He reminded the beneficiaries of President Muhammad Buhari’s saying: “We must produce what we eat and eat what we produce.”