The Nigerian Army has encouraged its officers and their families to engage in Agro-based venture to enhance national agricultural development.
At a one day Investment and Initiative Programme (BIIP) lecture organised by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Okwudili Fidelis Azinta said diversifying into Agriculture is the way out for Nigeria today.
“Cattle ranching could be diversified to Rabbit, Snail and Grass cutter farming which would enable all categories of personnel to benefit from the programme,” he said.
Establishment of cattle ranches
The BIIP has so far focused on the establishment of cattle ranches in many of the Nigerian Army barracks and cantonments across the country.
It was also in pursuant of the directive of Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai.
The GOC recognised cattle ranching could be a costly venture and unaffordable to all the personnel which means they can invest in animals that are less costly.
“This is believed to be less capital intensive and affordable to all the personnel of the Nigerian Army and their families. The awareness lecture which took place at the Headquarters 2 Division Auditorium on Tuesday, 7 August, 2018, was attended by wide range of participants. Officers and soldiers were drawn from formations and units under 2 Division. Also in attendance were members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC),, as well as civilian staff from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), serving in Ibadan,” he said.
The day-long lecture was delivered by an experienced practitioner of Integrated Farming. Mr Babatunde Onileola of the Onileola Farms located at Ede in Osun State.
The lecture was realistic and participatory as it includes both the theoretical and practical aspects of Rabbits, Snails and Grass Cutter farming.
The Division intends to conduct the second phase of the programme latter in the year which will culminate in the establishment of sample farms as models for beginners.
Applauded the initiative
The GOC 2 Division, Major General Okwudili Fidelis Azinta thanked the COAS for introducing this highly applauded initiative which if properly harnessed could contribute significantly to improving national agricultural development and food production.
Azinta said it would also generate additional income for serving personnel and their families.
He urged communities in the barracks within the Division to key into the programme.