The Federal Capital Territory Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, on Monday in Abuja inaugurated two committees to help boost agricultural development in the territory.
While inaugurating the committee, the minister expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the partnership on the projects.
She said that the committees are the Steering and Inter-Agency Technical Committees of the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL), and the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) Projects in the FCT.
Aliyu stated that the projects would go a long way in bringing about the avowed promise of leaving behind a legacy that will chart an unhindered course for sustainable economic development in Nigeria.
She added that the first phase of these projects was the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL), which was facilitated by the World Bank.
Aliyu said that it was aimed at helping northern part of Nigeria and the FCT to address critical challenges of regional desertification control and landscape management.
She said: “The projects align with the goal of Buhari’s administration to set out broader landscape restoration of 4 million hectares of degraded land, and the promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.”
Aliyu further stated that the implementation would take place in the six Area Councils of the FCT; particularly in the rural communities, and would cater for the farmers and farm groups, women and youths groups.
She said that the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones programme (SAPZ) was co-financed by the African Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).
According to her, it aims at mobilising private sector entities to develop value chains for selected strategic crops and livestock in the participating states.
Aliyu also said that the programme would significantly drive the modernization of the FCT agricultural sector and reduce food imports.
It will also enhance value addition in livestock value chain, staple food crops and create new economic zones of wealth and jobs creation in rural areas.
She said that the steering committees of the projects were the apex decision-making bodies for the operation of the projects in FCT.
According to Aliyu, they have the responsibilities of providing guidance and taking decisions on the recommendations forwarded by the StateTechnical Committee and StateProject Management Unit (SPMU)
The Mandate Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, said that several states across the federation had already keyed into the programmes.
He said: “Today’s inauguration marks the official take-off of the programmes in the nation’s capital.”
Ibrahim stated that the projects aimed at addressing environmental challenges as well as reinvigorating the livestock sector to enhance sustainable agricultural production and improved food and nutrition security.
He, however, assured that in view of the huge expectations on the projects, membership of the two committees were carefully drawn from relevant secretariat’s departments and agencies (SDA’S) of the FCT Administration.
Responding on behalf of the members of the committee, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, noted that the implementation of the two projects could not have come at a better time than now when the capital city was in dire need of the implementation of innovative programmes.
” Programmes that have the capacity to rapidly guarantee the attainment of food and nutrition security, as well as improve the quality of lives of the growing population of the FCT.
Ibrahim said: “There is no gainsaying the fact that the issues of climate change and global hunger are interwoven, and experts have warned that unless urgent and necessary measures are taken, nations face immense threat of global food crisis.”
He assured the minister that members of the committees would put in their best to ensure that the objectives of the projects were realised.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria