Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFG-CS), says it has so far empowered 100 youths, created jobs and increased economic activities in Gaate, a rural community in Nasarawa State in 2017.
The National Coordinator of NFG-CS, Mr Redson Tedheke, stated this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the group’s farm in Gaate, in Kokona Local Government Area of the state.
According to him, NFG-CS is a rural community-based farming initiative by Nigerians across the country and beyond, adding that its mission was to ‘farm to feed Nigeria’ and also create jobs in the process.
“This 300 hectares maize farm has brought about the employment of over 100 indigenes of this community, particularly the youth and women.
“Apart from technical inputs by the professionals on this farm, every other activity, including planting, application of fertiliser, herbicides and pesticides are done by the local people.
“Some youths have been trained and they resume work here daily with the farm management while others are in charge of the security of the farm.
“The cooperative pays workers an average daily wage of N1, 500 and that has been very helpful to rural dwellers,’’ he said.
Tedheke said that since the group established the farm in the community early this year, petty trading within and outside the community had been boosted tremendously.
He explained that supplies of many miscellaneous items and consumables in the farm were by local traders, which had enhanced their trading capacity in line with the group’s objective.
“This project is the beginning of NFG-CS nationwide push to promote and support farming as a tool that will provide sufficient food for Nigerians and empower them as well.
“We are a people who believe in feeding and growing Nigeria from within, and therefore bring people together who are interested in farming, especially in rural communities.”
According to him, the group is planning to establish farms across the six geo-political zones of the nation as part of its ‘Farm to Feed Nigeria’ programme.
He also said it had a farm in Adamawa, adding that plans were under way to establish a cassava farm in Edo and Delta as well as cultivation of ginger in Kaduna state, among others.
Tedheke further said that NFG-CS was a formation of men and women living in Nigeria and in the Diaspora who were interested in farming.
He said provisions were also made for civil servants and other persons to own farms without necessarily having to work on the farm.
“We are pulling in people from across the country, irrespective of where they reside to engage in farming activities.
“The arrangement is such that you can have a farm without coming to work on it yourself.
“An individual can participate as dependent farmer, the one that is not available to work on the farm, and the society will recruit labourers to work on their farms.
“At the end of the farming season, produce are sold and farmers are expected to save 10 per cent of the profit in the cooperative,” he said.
He, however, urged government at all levels to prioritise agriculture, to build a sustainable economic as the nation seeks diversification from oil.
Also, the traditional head of Gaate community, Alhaji Ibrahim Adamu, told NAN that the establishment of the farm in his community was a major economic succour to the community.
“This farm has created a lot of jobs for our people and also brought hope to us, especially in this harsh economic time in the country.
“The group has also repaired our road and gave our people functional borehole.
“I urge the state government to come and assist NFG-CS, especially in providing security, so that the organisation can remain in this community for long,”Adamu urged.(NAN)