The Secretary, Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat in the FCT, Mr Stanley Nzekwe, has urged residents to be actively involved in agriculture activities to ensure food security.
Nzekwe spoke in a briefing with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja as part of closing activities marking this year’s World Food Day.
According to him, active engagement in agriculture activity will help to cushion the effect of food insufficiency.
The theme of 2017 World Food Day is “Change the Future of Migration: Invest in Food Security and Rural Development.” The secretary noted that the whole essence of life revolved around food and shelter.
He said “this year’s World Food Day was anchored around President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to Nigerians about self-sufficiency in food production and the call on us to feed ourselves.
“So, I am urging FCT residents and indeed the entire Nigerians to know that whatever you do in life is geared toward feeding your stomach.
“Therefore, this year, in preparation for dry season farming, every man and every family must plant something.”
He appealed to residents to farm around their houses if they did not have farmlands.
He said, “let us have a system where we have the zeal to produce for ourselves and the commercial farmers can produce to feed themselves and take some to the market.”
He explained that the FCT had put tremendous effort toward food production by providing seedlings, pesticides and some implements.
He added that several areas had been mapped out for agriculture activities such as in Paiko Kore, with more than 10,000 hectares of land for both animal grazing and other crop production.
He pointed out that “over 5,000 hectares of land are under plantation with giant elephant grass, which can enhance cattle production and eliminate clash between herdsmen and farmers in FCT.
“There is also the value-added chain on ensuring that what we produce is not wasted by not effectively processing agricultural products.”
Nzekwe also said that Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrower’s Programme had given a real boost to agriculture productivity in FCT and nationwide.
“This is because the FCT has provided over 100 hectares of land for cluster farming across the six area councils.”