Following recent directive by President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) has begun plans to resuscitate and reactivate 300 hectares of farmland that have been left barren in Gombe State as a way to engage young people in agribusiness. The Executive Secretary of NALDA, Prince Paul Ikonne, made this known when he visited the farm estate, which has been abandoned for years ahead of the new farming season.
As a means of creating jobs, boosting food production and enhancing wealth creation, over 400 youth would be engaged in cultivating and reviving the farmland, as a means of supporting self-sufficiency and food security initiative of government in the country. In addition, in order to foster relationships and build collaboration, NALDA is determined to partner with farmers in the state and give them support where necessary to enable desirable output. Furthermore, the Federal College of Horticulture (FCH) in the state donated 100 hectares of land to NALDA as their contribution to achieving the goals of the current administration.
One of the issues farmers face is funding as interest on loans discourages them from obtaining loans from financial institutions. In addition, there is also the question of off-takers for farm produce as farmers also find it difficult to sell their produce. To mitigate these problems, Ikonne promised to make funding available to farmers through his agency and to provide off-takers for the produce through the FCH. The FCH has also offered to provide its knowledge and technical services that would aid in the development of the agricultural sector in the state. Gombe State is known for maize, millet, sorghum, and rice.