Friday 18th August, 2017
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Amnesty programme goes green

Amnesty programme goes green

...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.

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