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FCT Secretary reiterates commitment to reposition agriculture sector

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Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, the Federal Capital Territory Mandate Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat has reiterated commitment to reposition agricultural sector towards the attainment of food security.

Ibrahim gave the assurance during an interactive session with newsmen on the plans of the secretariat to enhance Agricultural development in the FCT, on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that the secretariat which was under the supervision of the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu has been working hard to lay a solid foundation to ensure that agricultural programmes achieve the desired impact.

Ibrahim noted that agricultural sector had become a focal point for Grassroot Developmental initiatives of the FCT administration in view of its pivotal role in uplifting of the socio economic wellbeing of the populace.

“ You will recall that under my coordination, the secretariat undertook a needs assessment survey in the six Area Councils with the aim of having first hand information on the areas that require urgent government intervention.

” The outcome of the exercise has given us informed guide on the actions that we are now taking, ” Ibrahim said.

On the issue of abattoir management , the secretary said that the regular consultations with stakeholders such as Area Council Authorities and butchers was yielding positive results.

According to him, the issue of the use of tyres to roast meat and unhygienic meat handling processes as well as poor sanitary conditions are being addressed.

“One of the major challenges we had encountered was the accumulation of high water bills which affected water supply in the abattoirs.

” This has now been resolved as all outstanding payments have been settled and portable water supply is now available for cleaning.

” In the same vein, the secretariat now carries out regular evacuation of abattoir waste, thereby addressing the issue of environmental pollution.

” Our priority in addressing this issue is to convert the waste to energy. To this end, within the year, we plan to establish biogas stations, first at the Karu Abattoir and then the other abattoirs across the FCT,” he said.

On the provision of agricultural inputs, the secretary emphasised that the secretariat was working hard to ensure that agricultural inputs provided by government get to the real farmers.

” Through our Zonal offices and extension agents, the secretariat has been able to obtain a comprehensive and reliable data of farmers in the FCT.

” The data collected indicated the needs of the farmers. So our input support will target their specific areas of needs.”

The secretary, however, called on farmers to be guided by the climate prediction forecast which the secretariat had in conjunction with the Nigeria Metrological Agency (NiMeT) shared with farmers in the six Area Councils.

Ibrahim added that the secretariat would step up its campaign to sensitise farmers on measures to prevent erosion and flooding in their farms.

He acknowledged the contributions of organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and other institutions for their support.

He said that the support of those organisations has helped to not only boost food production but create jobs for the teeming population in FCT.

“ in line with the policy of the Federal Government on promoting private sector participation in development, our doors will be open for genuine collaboration towards achieving our collective desire.

” For the elimination of hunger and economic empowerment through agriculture,” Ibrahim said.

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