Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA's) Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) has started the sale of 650 bags of grains to residents under its buffer stock programme.
The Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat in FCT, Nzekwe Ifeanyichukwu announced this at the start of the exercise on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, the release of the grains is aimed at ensuring that residents of the FCT have access to quality grains at half of market prices.
The 50 per cent subsidy sale was formally announced during the inauguration referred as buffer stock programme'', at the FCT Agro-Service Centre in Gwagwa in Abuja.
The Secretary, who was represented by Deputy Director, Agricultural Services, Dr Nkem Akamegbu underscored the importance of the programme, adding that it was good for food security.
I am sure you will agree with me that food security is essential because to a very large extent, it can guarantee general security of lives and property.
This is so not just because of the popular adage that says a hungry man is an angry man, but it will also productively engage our youths and keep them off negative vices.
The vices which are inimical not just to them but also the society at large,'' he said.
Ifeanyichukwu said that the first phase of the buffer stock programme had already been released for sale.
He assured that adequate provision had been made in the 2018 budget to mop-up for more farm produce to reach out to more beneficiaries in times of need next year.
The secretary noted that the secretariat had deployed agricultural extension workers to assist farmers all over the FCT.
He said that the extension workers would be out to sensitise farmers on proper use of agro-chemicals as well as on effective methods of food preservation to minimise loses suffer after harvest.
Ifeanyichukwu said that the secretariat was intending to expand the scope of the programme in the coming years to accommodate more people.
The secretary commended the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello for his continued support to the secretariat.
I will not fail to appreciate the FCT minister for granting us approval to implement the programme.
This is also important due to the fact that our residents will be able to afford these very important food items at highly subsidised rates.
The gesture will no doubt reduce hunger and bring about food security in the FCT and the country at large.
I also thank him (FCT Minister) for approving the revival of the exercise and directing that the produce be sold to residents at 50 per cent subsidy,'' he added.
Earlier, the Chief of Gwagwa, Mr Japhet Akawu, commended FCTA for the initiative, attesting to the administration's people-friendly programmes was impacting on the lives of ordinary residents.
Akawu said that the grains would go a long way to put food on the table of the less privileged residents.
Meanwhile, the secretary's representative inspected the ongoing rehabilitation of the Agro-Service Centre.
The rehabilitation covers renovation of the main warehouse and construction of perimeter fence of the centre.
While carrying out the inspection, he expressed FCTA's commitment in revitalising all agricultural facilities in the FCT.
He explained that abattoirs and warehouses in the FCT were at various stages of renovation, while giving assurance that the secretariat would step up the tempo of work and ensure timely completion.
Source: Voice of Nigeria