The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has concluded an arrangement with Centre for Scientific and Technical Research on Arid Regions (CSTRAR) in Biskra, Algeria, to commence palm tree plantation in Nigeria.
The Director-General of the NDE, Dr. Mohammed Ladan, explained that the plantation was part of its new strategies in creating more employment opportunities and to further encourage jobless youths especially university graduates to migrate and advance their status from motorcycle riders to gainful farming.
While noting that the palm tree revolution would involve date palm and oil palm, he explained that efforts were in top gear to secure at least one million high yield seedlings of both date and oil palms to kick-start the project in the northern part of the country, while selected youths in the South-South and South-West would concentrate on oil palm plantation.
“Agriculture as the mainstay of humanity has the potential to lead the desperately needed economic rebound from the year-long doldrums. Agriculture is tested and reliable machinery for effective economic diversification, as prioritised in the policy thrust of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“The wealth and economic prosperity of Nigeria in the 60s could glaringly be linked to the groundnut pyramids, oil palms and cocoa trees.
“NDE will create a new scheme under the Rural Employment Promotion (REP) programme called ‘’Green Cash for Nigerian Youth’’ under which the directorate will focus essentially on economic trees.
According to him, the NDE has finalised an agreement with the research institute in Edo state for a monthly release of 50,000 seedlings and has secured vast land from some local government areas to fast track and maintain the continuity of the project.
“We have about 35 hectares of land in Sabuwa, Katsina state, another of such in Akunnu in Ondo state and we are asking for more from the local government council areas.
‘’Selected youths will be engaged in date production using improved date palm seedlings, which require nine to 12 litres of water on a daily basis but mature between nine and 12 months.’’
‘’Under the proposed Green Cash for Nigerian Youth (GCNY) scheme, 420 beneficiaries will be engaged from each of the benefiting states with N10, 000 as a monthly stipend for each of the participants. Once people are engaged in productive activities, criminality and social vices will reduce,” he added.
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