Written by Austine ELEMUE

FCTA targets 500 for youth empowerment

The Federal Capital Territory Administration has keyed into the Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme, AADS, of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. 

Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Hon. Nzekwe Stanley, stated this in Abaji area council at the flag-off of the sensitisation exercise on the implementation of the scheme in the FCT. 

The secretary explained that the AADS is a federal government special agricultural programme under the CBN, which is expected to focus essentially on youths, in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, targeting a minimum of 10,000 young farmers per state.

He said that the FCT minister was very passionate about the programme which he noted if successfully implemented will take unemployed youths off the unemployment markets as well as help maintain food stability in the country.

He therefore solicited for the support of the traditional institutions as well as area council administrators to ensure that the programme is successful in the FCT.

Speaking on the crieteria for participation on the scheme, Musa said prospective farmers must be within the ages of 18 - 35 years and must belong to cooperative organizations. 

Also speaking, Mr Shankyula Moses, the Desk Officer FCT Development Finance Office of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, said the scheme is a departure from past intervention schemes where cash was given directly to beneficiaries who sometimes used the money for different purposes. 

The CBN, he said, will rather give all the necessary service support like seeds, fertilizer, chemicals as well as equipment, while expressing confidence that the new arrangement will help to further ramp up domestic production of identified commodities.

The Ona of the Abaji, HRH Alhaji Adamu Yunusa, expressed delight over the scheme and advised managers of the scheme to put all the necessary things in place for the scheme to succeed.

He also gave his support in the mobilization of his subjects, adding that he will consult with the area councils towards providing the needed land.

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