BY DAVID ADUGE-ANI
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said that before the end of the year, every meat consignment into the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shall be accompanied by certificate of inspection, to ascertain its wholesomeness.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, as part of the activities to mark two years of the present administration, acting secretary, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), Dr Musa Aliyu explained that the new direction was meant to reposition FCT abattoirs through strict population control, hygienic practices and developing a sustainable haulage system.
Aliyu recalled that in 2016, there were cases of illegal sales of donkey and horse meat to unsuspecting consumers and added that the FCT minister, Malam Muhammad Bello has approved a complete ban on unauthorized transportation of fresh meat into FCT from neighbouring states for sales in the markets.
He maintained that henceforth, only live food animals would be allowed into the territory for slaughtering and inspection before sales at the markets, adding however that where there are genuine demands to bring fresh meat into the territory, the operator must get approval from the secretariat.
The acting secretary disclosed that the FCT administration has made special budgetary provision in the 2017 budget to pay compensation to farmers in Paikon-Kore Grazing Reserve, which has been chosen as model for the resettlement of pastoralists in the territory.
Aliyu said that the secretariat is also collaborating with relevant government and non-governmental agencies to address the issue of pest infestation, while agriculture extension workers have been deployed to all the area councils to render advice to farmers towards preventing the spread of army worm pest.
“Presently, we are facing the outbreak of army worm pest which have been raving farmlands across the country. To this end, our agric extension workers have been deployed to all the area councils to render advice to farmers towards preventing its further spread,” he said.
He also revealed that the FCT was selected as one of the five states to benefit in the cage fish farming project, adding that the FCT minister has already directed the secretariat to key into the project and ensure that youths and fish-folk communities are carried along.