The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration has restated its commitment to the development of agriculture, especially in the rural areas of the territory.
To this end, the administration has inaugurated two standing committees, Agriculture Transformation Implementation Committee (ATIC) and the Technical Committee on Nigeria incentive-based Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Chief Olajumoke Akinjide who inaugurated the two committees stressed the relevance of agriculture to resolving the socio-economic problems in the FCT and the country at large.
The acting permanent secretary of the administration, Mallam Nuhu Ahmed, who represented the minister said, “a successful implementation of the agenda will address
the needs of farmers along the value chain of key commodities where Nigeria has comparative advantage and meet the financial needs of the producers, processors and marketers through the joint initiative of the federal government.”
She disclosed that about 274,000 hectares of land in the FCT had been delineated for agriculture in the FCT Master Plan and added that out of this, about 40,000 hectares was suitable for all year round farming.
Akinjide further stated that the FCT has about 165,000 farming families out of the
1.46 million residents and assured that these would be mobilised to participate in this new direction for rural economic emancipation in a business where they are competent.
Terms of reference for the FCT Agricutural Transformation Implementation Committee will be to amongst other things, “Oversee the administration of the Growth of Enhancement Support (GES) program in consultation with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; facilitate setting up of staple crop processing zones
through appropriate policies and investments in infrastructure and
“Provide oversight function of performance monitoring and evaluation with emphasis on getting value for money, accountability and transparency in the implementation of the transformation agenda.”
In a response, the chairman of both committees, Mrs Olvadi Bema Madayi assured that the committee would work assiduously to achieve the\ objectives of the bodies as set out in the terms of reference.
Madayi, who is also the secretary, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, maintained that the FCT will through the committees harness the rich and enormous agricultural resources of the FCT by taking advantage of the ingredients of the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) programme and the Nigeria incentive-Based Risk sharing Agricultural Lending NISRAL to boost Agricultural activities in the FCT.