Written by Austine ELEMUE

2019 farming season: FCTA sells input at 50% discount

The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, through its Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, ARDS, has flagged off this year’s farming season with a 50 percent discount for all inputs.

Speaking during the occasion at the Old Parade Ground Abuja, the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, said the administration was ready to encourage large scale farming so it has equally given rebate for all farm infrastructure like large buildings and other heavy inputs as will be worked out with the Department of Development Control. 

The minister, who was represented by the FCDA executive secretary, Engr. Gambo Jibrin, said this year's farming was an improvement of last year's, as several innovations have been introduced. 

Secretary, ARDS, Hon. Stanley Nzekwe, said unlike in the past when middlemen pay and collect bulk products only to resell at high prices, this year, products have been streamlined and regulated. 

He announced that those who need large quantities of fertilizers because of the size of their farm should go to manufactures as sales have been restricted to between one to three bags. 

Also, to ensure that real rural farmers benefit from sale of subsidised fertilizers, ARDS has discentralised the sale into six distribution centres: Gwagwalada, Gwagwa, Kwali, Kuje, Tungan Maje and Bwari. 

He said farmers should buy through their various village heads and community leaders or chiefs who will identify them or facilitate the purchase. 

Nzekwe noted that through the lessons learnt from FADAMA project, yields have improved from 1.5 metric tons in 2018 to 4 metric tons per hectare which has boosted the outputs of farmers. 

He stated that as part of improved agric services in the territory, the FCT bee keepers came tops in techniques nationwide and have become self-employed graduates. 

Nzekwe, revealed that Agriculture Rural Development Secretariat has come up with a strategy to reduce deforestation. 

He said 25 rural women per chiefdom will collect gas cylinders free and will be trained on the usage as well as their transport fares paid. 

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