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May 22, 2024
Agribusiness Featured

The NDDC aims to bolster the security and employment landscape in Nigeria by empowering young farmers.

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has affirmed its commitment to empowering small-scale farmers and transforming them into hubs for training the region’s youths.

During a recent visit to farms in Akwa Ibom State, Sir Victor Antai, the NDDC’s Executive Director of Projects, emphasized the Commission’s dedication to harnessing the agricultural potential of the Niger Delta and advocating for the transition from traditional to mechanized farming techniques.

Accompanied by key officials including Mrs. Winifred Madume, Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Dr. Godwin Nosiri, Director of Commercial and Industrial Development, Antai expressed satisfaction with the enthusiasm exhibited by young farmers in enhancing food production.

The Commission intends to procure modern farming equipment, such as tractors, to bolster agricultural initiatives, notably the Holistic Opportunities, Projects, and Engagement (HOPE) project. Antai highlighted that the ‘Project HOPE’ initiative aims to provide employment opportunities for youths, particularly in agriculture, aligning with the renewed Hope Agenda of the President.

In collaboration with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), the NDDC is striving to ensure food security in the Niger Delta region. Antai emphasized the importance of regular project inspections, mandated by the Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, to enhance the effective delivery of the NDDC’s mandate.

Antai underscored the agricultural potential of the Niger Delta region, attributing it to favorable ecological factors. He emphasized the need to transition from subsistence to mechanized farming to fully exploit the region’s opportunities and diversify from the oil-based economy.

Ambassador Blessing Fubara, the resource person for Project HOPE, outlined plans for the second phase of the youth empowerment program, focusing on commercial agriculture, information and communication technology, and support for youths in the creative industry. The first phase aims to create jobs through the development of agro-allied industries in the nine Niger Delta states.

At his farm in Ikot Ebom Itam, Mr. Aniebet Antia, Chairman of the Commercial Farmers Association, highlighted lack of capital as a major impediment to commercial farming. He stressed that with adequate funding, small-scale farmers could significantly contribute to national food production.

During their visit, the NDDC team inspected Asuakak Farms in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, managed by Mr. Kufre Joseph, which cultivated various crops including cassava, cabbage, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, and pepper.

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