President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday urged agencies involved in agriculture to ensure greater participation of youth in farming.
Buhari, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made the call during the launch of the National Young Farmers Scheme in Abuja.
The scheme is designed by the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) to spur youth interest in farming.
The president said agriculture remained the backbone of the Nigerian economy and the largest contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He assured the youth that his administration would create an enabling environment for their full participation in farming.
The president said: “We will do more to expand, modernize and revolutionize our agriculture, which is our most important asset.
“I have directed that all NALDA’s abandoned farm estates be retrieved to enable thousands of our young men and women to be engaged in farming.
“This administration will be achieving agricultural mechanization through this scheme and I am confident that Nigeria under my watch, we will achieve food security in producing most of what we eat. In good harvest years we may even export our surpluses and earn foreign exchange.”
President Buhari noted that the resuscitation of NALDA Nigeria would achieve food sufficiency and in a few years begin to earn more revenue from the export of agricultural commodities.
“By virtue of my passion and desire for agriculture and also as a farmer myself, I am directly supervising NALDA as an authority under the presidency.
“I am asking the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and state governments to give full cooperation to NALDA in its activities. With the success of Anchor Borrowers programme spearheaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria and new programmes to revive cotton, palm products, and cocoa, the next few years will see a vast difference in our agricultural performance,” he added.