The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, in Nigeria has commenced the distribution of agro inputs worth one hundred and fifty million naira (N150m ) to farmers who are mostly affected by the 2018 flooding and erosion within the territory.
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa made this known in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital at the occasion of the flag-off of sensitization and distribution of Agricultural Inputs to farmers in the FCT.
The Permanent secretary restated the Commitment of the administration to implement innovative strategies to support the growth of the Agricultural sector in line with the policy thrust of the Federal Government to revitalize agriculture in Nigeria.
Ohaa said it was against this backdrop that the Administration set up a Joint Committee from the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat and the FCT Emergency Management Agency, FEMA to urgently address the problem.
He stated that the Committee was expected to leverage on their expertise by building the capacities of farmers on the most effective measures to prevent and mitigate the effects of flooding as well as the distribution of Agro-inputs to bring succor to farmers who have suffered loses.
While we acknowledge the fact are natural that erosion and flooding are natural phenomenon, occurrence could also be activities. Findings have showed that farmers have engaged in activities without recourse to proper environmental assessment. Similarly, the arbitrary erection of structures by farmers has in most cases impeded the free flow of water resulting in overflow of natural water channels and river banks, he emphasized.
The Permanent secretary urged farmers to observe some basic practices that can help to minimize the effect of flooding especially those on river banks in order to avoid any form of construction that will impede the flow of water.
Ohaa hinted that, this year, the administration has provided funding to the Committee for the procurement of a variety of Agricultural Inputs to help the farmers in rebuilding their lost investments.
Some of the inputs procured by the administration are: rice, cowpea, cashew, teak and oil palm seedlings, he added that the administration will also be distributing poultry inputs such as chicks and feeds to the farmers.
The FCT Permanent Secretary stated that the feedback they got from the various Area Councils on the 2018 intervention informed the decision of the Administration to not only approve the continuity of the programme but also expand the scope of coverage of the intervention from the initial three Area Councils of Abaji, Kwali and Kuje to all the six (6) Area Councils of the FCT this year.
He commended the Extension workers of the FCT for their efforts in stepping down training to rural farmers on the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices particularly as it relates to flood and erosion control in farmlands.
He also enjoined the farmers to make judicious use of the administration intervention to alleviate the pains that they have gone through and to enable them go back to the farm with improved skills and also better prepared in prevention, control and management of flood.
The Chairman of the implementation committee who is also the Acting Secretary Agriculture and Rural Development in the FCT, Mr Olufemi Folarin assured the Administration, that the committee would carry out the assignment with all its possible best to ensure that the objective is achieved.
The Committee Chairman who thanked the Chairmen of the Area Councils for their support in ensuring the success of the programme, also urged the farmers to always seek the advice of professional Extension workers in order to get advice on effective agricultural practices.
Some of the farm inputs that were distributed last year, particularly the tree seedlings which are of improved variety have started growing and it is our hope that they will help to reduce the force of water flow thereby minimizing damage to farms. It is imperative to note that even though the flooding incidences on farms have reduced, the Administration is keeping the momentum of support in keeping with the saying that prevention is better than cure. In guiding the FCT Administration towards this year’s programme, the committee carried out an assessment through the Area Agriculture Officers of the Agric Secretariat in the 6 Area Councils of the FCT were some farmers were affected, he explained.
Source: Voice of Nigeria