The Barracks Investment and Initiative Programme (BIIP) is the brainchild of the Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai. The programme is aimed at encouraging officers and soldiers Of the Nigerian Army as well as their families to engage in Agro-based venture with a view to enhancing national agricultural development. The BIIP has so far focused on the establishment of cattle ranches in many of the Nigerian Army barracks and cantonments across the country.
In furtherance to this laudable initiative of the COAS, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Okwudili Fidelis Azinta, organized a one day awareness lecture on ” INTEGRATED FARMING “. The GOC recognised that while cattle ranching could be a costly venture and unaffordable to all the personnel, diversifying the programme to include Rabbit, Snail and Grass cutter farming will enable all categories of personnel to benefit from the programme. 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.
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.
The GOC 2 Division, Major General Okwudili Fidelis Azinta in his closing remarks thanked the COAS for introducing this highly applauded initiative which if properly harnessed could contribute significantly to improving national agricultural development and food production while generating additional income for serving personnel and their families. He urged barracks communities within the Division to key into the programme.