By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
A foremost organization in the field of industrial and commercial farming in Nigeria known as National Cooperatives For Commercial And Industrial Agriculture (NACCIA)has formerly launched a program in Ibadan aimed at productively engaging the people particularly unemployed youths and women in the field of commercial and industrial farming
The program which according to the Oyo state coordinator of NACCIA, Mr. Ademola Olarinde is targeted at no fewer than 20,000 participants in the state while making participants productive members of the society.with the aim of ensuring food security in the state
The South West Regional Coordinator Rev. Akintunde while addressing participants at the program stated that NACCIA has carried out series of research on modern farming techniques using modern technologies to help farmers maximize output and reduce damages.
He added that it has entered into an agreement with several multinational companies both within Africa and in Europe to buy off-farm produce from the farmers noting that before a farmer begins to harvest his crops such products must have been bought off by NACCIA to be delivered to the companies in need.
Olarinde stated that NACCIA is an anchored borrower program in partnership with the federal government of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide necessary financial and logistic supports to help the organization achieve its mandate of helping Nigerians productively engage in commercial and industrial agriculture adding that it has concluded all arrangements to commence engagement of at least 20,000 farmers with one hectare of land per farmer and at least N300,000 in a designated bank account for the purpose of commercial and industrial farming on the land.
When pressed further on security-related issues that may negatively affect the expected outcome of farmers as well as monitoring mechanism instituted to ensure funds released to farmers accounts are not diverted for other purposes
Olarinde allayed such concerns by stating that NACCIA will group all members into a cluster of maximum of 50 persons for adequate monitoring adding that one member of each cluster will be a monitoring officer assigned by NACCIA, adding further that the organization is already working on providing industrial irrigation across all of its members farming areas such that will make round the year farming possible and assuring that adequate security for farmers is part of its priority.
Some of the participants who spoke with the Pressmen expressed their joy and confidence in the program adding that the program will help both state and federal government attain food security and employment generation which are part of the global agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
In his remark, the south west regional coordinator, Rev. Akintunde assured all participants of NACCIA’s full support from start to finish during cultivation and harvest period to ensure expected outcome is achieved.