This was disclosed in a statement on Sunday by the office of the Minister of Agriculture, Sabo Nanono.
Mr Nanono, who received the delegation of the Nigerian Army Farms and Ranches Limited led by the Executive Director, Maina Kadai, a Brigadier General, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja, welcomed the idea, saying it will help to boost the agricultural sector.
The minister noted that a strong collaboration with the agency would reinforce the ministry’s drive of achieving sustained food sufficiency for the nation as they jointly agreed to embark on the same policy of mechanisation, research and development of improved seeds, the training of extension services workers across the country and food processing.
Mr Nanono explained the role of research institutes in ensuring improved seedlings, which will result in bumper harvest, adding that it would also increase agricultural products, create jobs and boost agribusiness development in the nation.
He stated that the mechanization programme would commence before the end of the year in 634 local government areas in Nigeria and will be private sector driven.
Mr Nanono expressed satisfaction with NAFARL’s acceptance to key into the ministry’s programme, especially mechanization and extension services.
According to him, the Army has proven that it is not only involved in protecting the territorial integrity of the country and fighting wars to secure its citizens but also active in the area of food security as it finds time to invest in the agricultural policies that is geared towards feeding the nation, creating jobs and enhancing the nation’s economy by generating revenue.
In his remarks, the Executive Director, Nigeria Army Farms and Ranches Limited, Mr Kadai, said ‘’NAFARL’s current structure is designed to broaden its scope and mandate to cover ranching and agriculture to support the FG’s Policy on food security as well as generate revenue for the Nigerian Army (NA), feed the entire Army Corps and contribute to the national GDP’’
While displaying a range of farm products from their farms inclusive of rice, beans, Mr Kadai also displayed some processed products such as bean and cassava flour among others promising that NAFARL will join hands with the Ministry to embark on massive commercial farming that will not only feed the Army and other armed forces but feed the nation and export products to feed Africa and the world so as to boost the nations revenue base.
He further said that “NAFARL is the premier and only NA agricultural establishment and also builds capacities of staff for the efficient employment of modern agricultural techniques in conformity with global best practices.’’