FCTA Initiates Aggressive Dry Season Farming Campaign

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By Ahmed Rahma

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said it has initiated an aggressive campaign targeted at boosting dry season farming within the nation’s capital.

At the end of the year media briefing of the Secretariat, the acting Secretary, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Mr Ibe Chukwuemeka, stated that the campaign was designed to ease the adverse effects of the continued attacks on farmers by bandits in the far North that is already having a negative impact on the nation’s food security.

Mr Chukwuemeka noted that the FCT has a large farming population that could contribute maximally to the nation’s food production and the Secretariat was working on some irrigation projects.

The acting secretary stated that the Secretariat has also initiated skills acquisition programmes for all categories of farmers to equip them on how to use modern technologies and also constructed earth dams for farmers.

“The Secretariat is currently embarking on programmes to support dry season farming activities in order to guarantee the availability of food all year round.

“Apart from providing irrigation equipment to farmers such as water pumping machines, water hoses etc, the Secretariat has assisted farmers to construct earth dams.

“In order to ensure prompt of delivery of agricultural services, the Secretariat has forged a close working relationship with all categories of farmers, from small-holder farmers, medium to large scale commercial farmers in order to impart in them useful information and skills with regards to improved technologies in production, processing, storage and marketing,” he said.

Mr Chukwuemaka, who further disclosed the training of about 2,000 farmers on pest control and storage techniques by the Secretariat, however, lamented on the agricultural development programmes of the Secretariat which were greatly affected by the looting of its storage warehouse in Gwagwalada by hoodlums during the EndSARS protest.

He said, “As part of efforts to combat and minimize the menace of the Fall Army Worm pest on farmers, the Secretariat through the Department of Agric. Services trained about 2,000 farmers and sold insecticides at 50% subsidized rates to farmers.

“In addition to pest control activities, the Department also carried out training on the use of Purdue airtight bags for effective storage of agricultural produce.

“However, the sales were cut short by the violent protests which led to the looting of our warehouses.

“Similarly, with the successful experiment on Green House farming in Gwagwalada for the production of tomatoes and different spices of Bell peppers the Secretariat is set to establish similar farms in other Area Councils of the FCT.”

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