The Executive Secretary of the National Land Development Authority (NALDA), Mr. Paul Ikonne says the establishment of 109 Integrated Farm Estate by the Federal Government has nothing to do with Ruga or ranches.
Following the recent pronouncement by the NALDA boss on plans to establish the farm estates in all senatorial districts across the country, the Pan-Yoruba socio-political organization popularly known as Afenifere, had in a statement by its Spokesman, Mr. Jare Ajayi, allegedly accused the federal government of attempting to bring back the rejected cattle colony and RUGA through the establishment of the farm estates.
President Muhammadu Buhari had directed NALDA to establish integrated farm estates in all the 109 senatorial districts to boost food production across the country.
However, the NALDA boss, who spoke to State House Correspondents on Friday, said: “Well, is unfortunate, it’s not another type or anything that has to do with Ruga. The Integrated Farm Estate is what the President mandated us to establish in all the 109 Senatorial Districts.
“The directive came after commissioning that of Daura, meaning he saw the productive nature, the impact that project will make. The project is meant for the community, to develop the community. What we have inside is poultry, fishery and for those who are doing piggery. So, is for the people.
“The insinuation is meant to mislead people as a result of lack of understanding so to say. But the truth of the matter is that the integrated farm estate is designed to accommodate the youths from that community in order to engage them into entire agricultural value chain.
“And it depends on what the community is known for and what the community is interested in going into. Some states are getting poultry, cow-like in the north; in the south like Abia they are doing fishery and rabbit rearing.
“In Oyo we already have rabbit rearing and crop farming; in Ekiti State as well we have crop farming. So it depends on the environment, and it has nothing to do with Ruga at all.
“It’s purely for development, and to engage the youths and for the benefit of immediate community, that is what the integrated farming estate stands for.”