…Sets Guidelines For Operations In Agricultural Sector.
TOYIN ADEBAYO, ABUJA
The Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat of Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has assured farmers in the nation’s capital of the Administration’s commitment to step up the provision of support towards the attainment of food security amist the relaxation of the lockdown amidst the Covid 19 pandemic.
The Acting Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat Mr. Ibe Prospect Chukwuemeka made this known when he issued the Safety Protocols for Agricultural activities in the FCT.
He hinted that the measure is to mitigate the spread of the disease, saying, the Agricultural Sector as you know is key to our collective desire to attain food security and job creation. This is why the FCT Administration is putting in place these measures aimed at protecting our farmers as they go about their various Agricultural activities.
He added that, the FCT Administration under the leadership of Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello and the Minister of State Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu are in discussions at various levels with the AfDB, Central Bank of Nigeria and other Corporate organisations towards the actualisation of the food secutity, wealth creation and empowerment of FCT residents, through the implementation of various initiatives that will propel the growth of the sector in the FCT as wel as other routine support programmes.
The operational guidelines covers 5 key sectors which includes: Abattoir and slaughter slabs; Veterinary Clinics ; Livestock Markets; Fish processing Facilities ; and Agric Extension Services.
The guideline are: Strict Surveillance of all entry points into the FCT to ensure that meat brought into the FCT are duly certified by Veterinary officials to be safe for consumption; The use of infrared thermometers will be mandatory for all those entering the facilities; Protective items such as hand sanitizers and running water with antibacterial soap will be kept at the entry points into the facilities which must be used before access is allowed into any of the facilities; and The use of face masks is to become mandatory.
In addition, Veterinary health officials Butchers, Fish vendors as well as handlers of live birds cattle, goat and sheep will be required to use hand gloves and boots; The use of disinfectants for cleaning will be made more frequent in all the facilities especially the abattoirs; Dealers of Agricultural inputs and food items will be encouraged to use transparent materials to cover them.
h. In order to avoid congestion at the various facilities, social distancing measures will be adopted and enforced at all the facilities ; and Agric. Extension workers shall adopt social distancing measures in conducting their training progrrammes.
While soliciting the understanding and support of the public the Acting Secretary disclosed that a monitoring team has been put in place to ensure implementation and compliance.