200 farmers in Nasarawa State have benefitted from the National Agricultural Land Development Authority’s (NALDA) home-grown poultry programme.
The initiative aimed at fostering agribusiness and sustainable agriculture, where 3-tier bird cages, 25 birds, and three bags of feed were distributed to each beneficiary to ensure self-sufficiency until maturity.
The programme targets genuine grassroot farmers in partnership with traditional leaders to boost their incomes and livelihood.
The beneficiaries comprising youth and women were also drawn from the various local government areas of the state, who converged at the Emir’s Palace in Lafia to receive the start-up packages.
Addressing the gathering, NALDA’s executive-secretary, Paul Ikonne, who was represented by the head of engineering, Olusegun Owolabi, highlighted the programme’s potential to reduce chicken imports, save foreign exchange, and boost the economy by creating employment opportunities.
He said, “We need to take over the business and ensure that we stop exporting jobs, for every product that we import, we have exported our employment and for every local thing we consume, we created employment for someone, somewhere in the country.
“NALDA is out to sustain the total ban on importation of frozen chicken for the poultry industry to expand, reduce unemployment and boost the country’s economy by empowering the individuals to upscale their poultry production,” he said.
Owolabi urged the beneficiaries to pay attention to the training and guidance on how to handle the birds for maximum turnover.
In his response, the Emir of Lafia and the chairman of Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, Justice Sidi Muhammed (rtd), expressed gratitude for NALDA’s trust in the traditional institution and pledged to collaborate for the project’s success.
He emphasised that Nasarawa State greatly needed more of such interventions and urged NALDA to focus its efforts in the state, given its status as an agricultural hub.
Beneficiaries like Hajara Umar and Jamila Haruna expressed their excitement, emphasising how the intervention would significantly enhance their poultry businesses.
According to NALDA, with successful implementations in Abuja, Lagos, and Nasarawa, NALDA’s home-grown poultry programme is set to extend its positive impact to more states across the country, contributing to agricultural growth and economic development.