The recent rains in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) seem to have kickstarted the 2018 farming season. Many farmers had been at a loss on how to get imputs; however, with the prompt intervention of the FCT FADAMA III Additional Financing Project, the farmers are now confident that this year’s farming season will be a bumper one. JOHN OBA writes
As the farming season commences, the FCT FADAMA lll Additional Financing Project has flag-off of the distribution of agricultural inputs to farmers participating in the Project across three value-chain crops: cassava, rice and sorghum.
The distribution exercise which started last Wednesday with the slogan: “FCT Fadama: Empowering the rural communities in the FCT”, witnessed a wide participation of 100 production proups with over 1000 farmers across the 3 value- chain crops. The workshop The farmers were enlightened on to improve themselves for the 2018 cropping season, and they were also recognised for their contribution to the sustenance of food production in the FCT. Addressing the farmers, FADAMA national project coordinator, Mr. Tayo Adewumi; said the Project was all about helping farmers to improve themselves and achieve the objectives of making food available to Nigerians. According to him:
“There is no doubt that the intervention by the Project will support the benefiting farmers to increase production, increase their crop yield, increase their income, reduce poverty and hunger; thereby contributing to the achievement of the Key Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).” He revealed that the project has yielded positive results in several states across the country since its inception, saying: “In FCT particularly, the Project piloted Community-based Rice Seed production at Fogbe Production Cluster, where requisite technology and training in seed production were deployed to achieve outstanding results.
“The foundation rice seed being distributed to our rice farmers today for planting in the upcoming 2018 farming season is the product of Fogbe Community Seed production exercise,” he revealed. Changing lives He also stated that the Project has helped to reduce youth unemployment in the country, with the introduction of the Fadama Graduate Unemployed Youth and Women Scheme (Fadama GUYS), that aimed at empowering youth to actualize their interest in any aspect of the Agricultural Value Chain, through a Starter Pack approach borne out of the need to support government to deliver one of the critical promises of employment generation, especially among the youth and the women folk, through agriculture: thereby enhancing food security, poverty reduction and import substitution.
“It will also help to commence the production of a new and younger generation of farmers, who are knowledge based, IT-compliant, energetic, resilient and innovative in their approach to doing things to replace the aging farming population in the country, through purposeful targeting of youths and women The recent rains in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) seem to have kickstarted the 2018 farming season.
Many farmers had been at a loss on how to get imputs; however, with the prompt intervention of the FCT FADAMA III Additional Financing Project, the farmers are now confident that this year’s farming season will be a bumper one. JOHN OBA writes National project coordinator, FADAMA, Mr Tayo Adewumi, Secretary, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Hon. Nzekwe Stanley Ifeanyichukwu, and FCT coordinator, Mr. Abdullahi Salisu, at the launch of the input distribution exercise recently (18-35 years of age). “A total of 5,916 candidates were successfully trained on various enterprise development in livestock, crop and plantation across 23 states of the federation. 121 unemployed youths and women are going to benefit from this scheme in the FCT,” he explained. Corroborating Adewumi’s assertion, the FCT Fadama III Additional Financing Project coordinator, Mr. Abdullahi Salisu, said the aim of the Project is to move FCT farmers from subsistence to commercial production by ramping up production across the four selected staple crops supported by the project. “The attainment of this strategic objective is anchored on the deployment as well as adoption of modern agricultural technologies and best practices.
This, it becomes expedient that the project facilitates the acquisition of quality inputs at the right time and at competitive prices so that our farmers can make necessary preparations in good time.” The progress so far Intimating the participants on the achievement of the project so fact, Salisu said: “Under the support of the Project, two Production Groups were able to cultivate 20 hectares of Faro 44 Foundation Seed, under the supervision of the National Seed Council, using irrigation and raising average farmer baseline yield from 0.8 tons per hectare.
“The Project, through its capacitybuilding component, trained 3,510 farmers and facilitated the implementation of 133 business plans out of the 333 business plans prepared by Production Groups, along the identified three valuechain across the FCT, which were all cleared by NFCO for implementation.” Boosting agric in the Territory The special guest of honour at the event, the Secretary, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, revealed that the FCTA Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Hon. Nzekwe Stanley Ifeanyichukwu, assured the farmers of the FCT administration’s committment towards ensuring the provision of inputs, linkage to sources of credit and markets, as well as the provision of an enabling environment for the teeming FCT farmers.
According to him, “This is in line with our objective of boosting agricultural production, increasing farmers’ incomes, improving livelihood and contributing towards food security in the FCT.” He implored members of the Production Groups benefiting from the input distribution exercise to make judicious use of the items that the project supported them to acquire, in line with project guidelines and agronomic best practices; in order to achieve optimal yield. Items distributed to Fadama farmers include: 15 cartons of 12x1litre liquid Gobara Herbicide, 30 cartons of Herofol Denso Verde NPK Gel Fertilizer, 26 bags of 20kg Sorghum Samsorg-17 and 30 bags of 25kg Abuja Fadama Rice Seed. Two outstanding Production Groups, Essa Ventures of Pukafa Production Cluster and Mamora Seeds Nig. Ltd. of Kaima 1 Production Cluster, were given #840,000 and #560,000 input vouchers,respectively; for their contribution to food production in the FCT.
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