The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu on Friday disclosed that the FCT Administration has put in place an Input Support Initiative, a strategy aimed at increasing access to critical Agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, agro-chemicals, pesticides, feeds, irrigation equipment to support all year farming in the nation’s capital.
She gave this disclosure at the flag off/roll out of Agricultural inputs distribution to small-holder farmers as palliative to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic in the FCT, organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Minister also hinted that under this programme, the administration provides 50 percent subsidies on all inputs.
Aliyu who was represented by the Senior Assistant on Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Abdul Agbadi, the minister affirmed that the policy thrust of the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, is human capacity development.
She stressed that the policy lays emphasis on adopting strategies that would help facilitate the growth of small businesses through improvements in Agriculture and land use which are fundamental in addressing the plight of less vulnerable groups and the attainment of food security.
Aliyu maintained that in the FCT Administration, the core of Agricultural policies was the implementation of grassroot developmental programmes that are targeted at harnessing the vast arable land mass.
Her words, “with a large percentage of small-holder farmers, the FCT Administration has put in place an Input Support Initiative which is a strategy that is aimed at increasing access of farmers to critical Agricultural inputs such as Fertilizers, Agro-chemicals, pesticides, feeds, irrigation equipment to support all year farming amongst others.
“It is no longer news that Nigeria’s Agricultural sector has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Therefore, we must use every opportunity to proffer measures on how to better support all the production systems towards mitigating the impact of the pandemic. We must evolve better strategies to build on what we have already been doing in our different ways and synergize efforts towards our collective desire to attain food security. There is no better time to act than now”.
Aliyu, however, commended the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other critical stakeholders for the distribution of inputs to small-holder farmers aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the nation’s capital, noting that with the pandemic, Nigerians must begin to chart a new course for the Agricultural sector which plays a crucial role in the economic growth of any nation.