FCTA flags off 2018 farming season, targets 20,000 farmers
To ensure adequate food production for the growing population of the FCT, and create other products in the agricultural value chain, the FCT Administration has flagged off the 2018 farming season with the distribution of farm inputs to farmers.
The administration said 20,000 farmers have also been targeted for the Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme, AADS, which is a presidential initiative being executed through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Bank of Agriculture.
FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, during the flag-off ceremony in Abuja said the administration has keyed into President Muhammadu Buhari’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, through agriculture.
Bello stated that the administration is working to improve agricultural practices in the FCT with a view to guaranteeing food security, create jobs and assist the government save on the foreign exchange that was hitherto expended on food imports.
He also indicated that the administration is working towards the provision of tractors for improved farming activities in the territory.
The minister further disclosed that the administration has strengthened the framework for timely distribution of fertilisers and other farm inputs such as improved seeds and herbicides adding that the sales of these inputs would continue on a regular basis at the agro-service centers located in Karshi, Gwagwa, Abaji, and Gwagwalada among others.
“Our presence here today, certainly, bears eloquent testimony of the Administration’s commitment, not only to ensure adequate food production, but also creation other products in the agricultural value chain.
“We believe this is possible because FCT is endowed with a vast tract of agricultural lands, abundant human resources and large market for goods and services. These also offer great potentials for value addition for FCT farm products and development of the rural economy,” he said.
He, however, solicited the cooperation of traditional rulers and the entire residents to strengthen agriculture as the foundation for a strong industrial base and economic prosperity.
Secretary, FCT Agric and Rural Development Secretariat, Hon. Nzekwe Stanley, while buttressing the minister’s remarks, said the secretariat has procured fertilisers to be distributed at subsidised rate to genuine farmers.
Among the high points of the day’s event was also the distribution of motorcycles to FCT Extension staff for the purpose of strengthening the extension delivery system.