From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
THE Federal Capital Territory Administration has disclosed plans to kick start integrated farming in six Council Areas of the territory by January 2020.
Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, the Minister of State for FCT revealed this during a visit to Integrated Farms Limited which is being managed in partnership with the SCC Nigeria Limited, Kagoro, Kaduna State.
While she identified agriculture as being vital to check unemployment in the country, the minister noted that soil test would commence same January next year in the area councils.
This, according to her would held ascertain the viability of the project in each of the councils.
The FCT comprises Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Kuje Area Council, Kwali Area Council, Gwagwalada Area Council, Abaji Area Council and Bwari Area Council.
“I came here with chairmen of the six area councils to carry out an on the spot assessment of Integrated Farm in collaboration with SCC Nigeria Limited with a view to replicating such in all the councils across the territory. What we have seen so far is quite encouraging and I can assure you that it is achievable,” She said.
“I have no doubt in my mind that if properly executed in the FCT, it will not only bridge the unemployment gap, but it will further boost the economic activities of farmers. We as an administration will continue to strengthen and empower the youth and women in the agricultural value chain.”
She expressed the administration’s resolve to execute the project as planned, adding that the proposed integrated and demonstration farms when established would further strengthen and empower farmers, thereby bridging the unemployment gap in the nation’s capital.
On the potential, the minister expressed hope that the FCT has a huge market to accommodate all produce from such integrated farms, stressing that it will further enhanced the economic activities of the territory.
She, therefore, called on the management of the farm for technical support especially in the area of training, noting that such assistant will further deepen the existing relationship between the FCT Administration and the constructing firm.
In his remarks, one of the agronomists, Mr. Kabiru Sule, said the farm has lifted youths from poverty.
He advised that for the government to win the war against unemployment and poverty, the potential in the agricultural sector should be well harnessed.
Chairmen of the Councils however promised to take opportunity of the project due to its ability to fix unemployment in the country.