By Daura Iliya
Thee Senate President Ahmed Lawan says containing the security challenges in the country is critical to achieving food security.
Senator Ahmed Lawan stated this at the graduation ceremony of 269 soil doctors and extension service providers trained by the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA in collaboration with Borno state government and National Youth Service Corps, NYSC in Maiduguri.
This is another turning point in an effort to bridge the agricultural productivity gap and achieve food sufficiency for all Nigerians.
The Young Farmers Scheme is a programme designed to train 30,000 young graduates across the country to assist farmers in carrying out soil test, soil management and extension services to enhance productivity and profitability in agricultural sector.
The Senate President noted that for agriculture to flourish, there is the need for the federal and state governments to engage in partnership, collaboration and coordination.
According to him, the northeast region has the potential to feed the entire country with its vast arable land and water resources.
Senator Ahmed Lawan remarked that National Assembly, the Senate in particular will continue to work with the Executive arm to address the lingering insurgency so as full scale farming activity would commence.
Borno state Governor Babagana Zulum said the scheme will create new opportunities for farmers in the state to learn and apply new agricultural practices.
He stressed the commitment of the state government to work with NALDA to develop the vast agricultural potentials to ensure food sustainability in the region.
Executive Secretary Nigerian Agricultural Land Development Authority Prince Paul Ikonne and the Director General National Youth Service Corps Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, explained that with the induction of the soil doctors and extension providers into the nations agricultural system, it will correct anomalies of non-soil testing and improve quality food production.
Two of the graduands Mohammed Goni and Barka Thomas promised to put into practice the knowledge they have gained.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the presentation of certificates and soil sample collection kit to each of the participants.
Correspondent Dauda Iliya reports this is the first batch of one thousand graduates selected to be trained under the Young Farmers Scheme in Borno state.