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Dry season farming: FCTA trains 2,000 on pest control

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Ukpono Ukpong, Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has trained no fewer than 2,000 farmers on pest control and storage techniques, just as it has initiated an aggressive campaign targeted at boosting dry season farming within Abuja.

Acting Secretary, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Ibe Chukwuemeka, told Journalists in Abuja that the campaign was designed to mitigate the adverse effects of the continued attacks on farmers by bandits in far north, which according to him, has negatively impacted on the nation’s food security.

While noting that FCT has a large farming population that could contribute maximally to the nation’s food production, he explained that the Secretariat was working on some irrigation projects and has also constructed earth dams for farmers.

He explained further, that the Secretariat has also initiated skills acquisition programs for all categories of farmers, to equip them on how to use modern technologies.

Furthermore, Chukwuemeka strongly lamented that several ongoing agricultural development programmes initiated by the Secretariat have been negatively affected due to the recent looting at her 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 Agric. 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 Purdure 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.

“The Secretariat is currently embarking on programs 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.

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“In order to ensure prompt of delivery of Agricultural services, the Secretariat has forged 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 regard to improved technologies in production, processing, storage and marketing.” He said.

Speaking further, the Acting Secretary hinted that, with the successful experiment on Green House farming in Gwagwalada, for the production of Tomatoes and different spices of Bell peppers the Secretariat is set to establish similar farms in other Area Councils of the FCT.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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