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NALDA trains 200 FCT youths, women on vegetable planting

The National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) on Tuesday in Abuja trained 200 youths and women on its ‘Grow Your Vegetable’ programme.

The Executive Secretary of NALDA, Mr Paul Ikonne said the essence of the programme was to teach the participants how to maximise the little spaces they have in their environment to plant vegetables.

“The essence of this programme is to inform us of what we used to know.

“And that is, while growing up; our parents used to use every available space at the back of the house or in front of the house to plant vegetables.

“Urbanisation is trying to take that away, thereby making life in the urban city more expensive than the ones in the rural areas.

“But NALDA is trying to encourage you to grow your vegetables in order to reduce your cost of living.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated NALDA to encourage all Nigerians to grow what they eat and what we grow,

“And one of the easiest ways to get everyone on board is to introduce Grow Your Vegetable Programme.

“Whether you are a landlord or tenant, you can grow the food within your environment using used bags or broken buckets,” Ikonne said.

He urged the participants and residents of Abuja to turn their flower pots to vegetable pots, put a vegetable seed, then between two to three months, they will start harvesting.

Ikonne said the programme was aimed at encouraging Nigerians, especially those living within urban areas to grow their vegetables.

“The FCT beneficiaries are 200; we have provided them with hybrid seeds like pepper, tomato, onion and pumpkin (ugwu), also fertilizer to encourage them to start growing their own food.

“Going forward, those that were not able to be trained, they should take advantage of this information to begin to grow their vegetables at home.

“This is because it is doable and they have all it takes to do it and I believe they can do it.

“We are starting off from here in Abuja, the next stop will be in Lagos, then Port Harcourt so that we can sensitise them,” he added.

The Minister of FCT, Muhammed Bello was represented by the Managing Director, Abuja Enterprise, Mr Shehu Abdulkadir at the occasion.

Bello said the programme would bring succour to families and boost the implementation of the government’s Back to Farm Initiative.

“Agriculture used to be the mainstay of the economy and in these challenging economic times, this initiative by NALDA will go a long way in providing financial succour to families.

“It is my sincere hope that this programme will once more increase awareness amongst Nigerians on the benefits of backyard vegetables farming.

“This farming is not just for healthy and more nutritious diet, but also the renaissance of agriculture as mainstay of our economy,” the Minister noted.

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