...Collaborates with states to acquire 100,000 hectares of farm land for beneficiaries
Following the hint given by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, at the launch of the ‘Green Alternative Promotion Policy’ last year of five major thrusts of the present administration’s new agricultural initiative, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd), has keyed into the programme as he has set target to meaningfully engage the beneficiaries of the Amnesty programme under the ongoing reintegration phase of the programme the agricultural sector.
The Federal Government programme to capture the achievement of self-sufficiency and sustainable food security, reduction in import dependence and economic losses, stimulation of agro-exports for enhanced foreign exchange earnings, enhancement of wealth and job creation, especially the provision of employment opportunities for the teeming population in the country, and achievement of economic diversification to make the economy less oil dependent.
Brigadier General Boroh would stop at nothing until the ex-agitators under Presidential Amnesty Programme have been sustainably reintegrated back to their communities with sustainable source of livelihood.
To achieve these objectivies, the Amnesty Coordinator recently commenced steps to acquire 100,000 hectares of farm land in the nine oil producing states for advanced agriculture.
The acquisition is a major step in the re-integration phase under which all beneficiaries of the programme will be trained and empowered as part of its Strategic Exit Programme (STEP).
Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd) , has expressed the willingness of his office to partner with state governments and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to boost agriculture and ensure food security, with a view to gainfully engaging the amnesty beneficiaries in productive and sustainable ventures in their communities on their return.
Speaking at the graduation of the first batch of ninety seven trainees in advanced agriculture techniques at the Bio-Resources Development Centre (BIODEC) Odi, Bayelsa State, the Amnesty coordinator said his office had approached state governments in the region to assist with the acquisition of the 100,000 hectares of land.
According to him, the graduation of the 97 Ex-Agitators in advanced farming technique under a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), was the first in a series of training by NABDA.
He hinted that another batch of 103 trainees were dueJanuary 2017, adding that the scheme was to turn out a total of 500 agriculture graduates by the first quarter of 2017.
General Boroh said the acquisition of the lands in the nine Niger Delta states was urgent, given the need to speedily reintegrate all trained beneficiaries in order to tackle food insecurity and mass unemployment in the region.
He said apart from the beneficiaries of the amnesty programme, other youths from impacted communities in the Niger Delta would also benefit from the advanced agriculture training scheme of the Amnesty Office.
The planned cultivation of farms in partnership with identified private companies and international agencies, he said was a sure way to meaningfully engage the youth in the Niger Delta region.
Boroh said negotions were on with two of such partners are at an advanced stage with MOU being proposed with them.
The Special Adviser to the President said the graduating trainees were exemplary in their conduct, even as he urged them to carry the same spirit into their post-training endeavours as they put their newly acquired skills into practice.
General Boroh also urged the beneficiaries to uphold the good gesture of Mr. President for providing them with sustainable source of livelihood through the Presidential Amnesty Programme.