By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
As part of measures to ensure food security, the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA said it has begun an aggressive campaign targeted at boosting dry season farming and has also trained about 2000 farmers on pest control and storage techniques.
Acting Secretary, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Ibe Chukwuemeka disclosed this at a media interface in Abuja.
According to him, the campaign is designed to mitigate the adverse effects of the continued attacks on farmers by bandits in some parts of the country, adding that the FCT has large farming populations that could contribute maximally to the nation’s food production.
He said, “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 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”.
Ibe, however, lamented that the agricultural development programmes of the Secretariat were greatly affected by the looting of its storage warehouse in Gwagwalada by hoodlums during the #EndSARS protest.
“As part of efforts to combat and minimize the menace of the Fall Army Worm pest on farmers, the Secretariat through the Department of Agricultural Services trained about 2000 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 species of Bell peppers the Secretariat is set to establish similar farms in other Area Councils of the FCT”, he added.