FCT ADP urges timely agricultural inputs for farmers

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By Uche Bibilari

Mr Innocent Ajaefobi, Director of the FCT Agricultural Development Project (ADP), has appealed to all levels of government to provide timely agricultural inputs to farmers to ensure a constant supply of farm products.

Ajaefobi made the appeal during the Monthly Technology Review Meeting (MTRM) and Fortnightly Training (FNT) for agricultural extension workers and subject matter specialists (SMSs) in the FCT, held on Monday in Gwagwalada.

He stated that the training was approved by the Mandate Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), Malam Suleiman Kolo, and designed to equip extension workers at the village level with the latest agricultural production techniques.

He explained that agricultural production is subsidised worldwide and emphasised that all levels of government in Nigeria should consistently do the same.

“The purpose of the training is to ensure food security in the FCT. We invited specialists in various aspects of agriculture to train our extension staff.

“These extension workers will then teach local farmers, demonstrating techniques on their farms for adoption.

If farmers adopt these techniques, it will lead to increased production, value addition to farm produce, wealth creation, and income generation for farmers and the general FCT populace.”

He urged all participants to view the training as an opportunity to refresh their knowledge, listen to trainers, and equip themselves.

Dr Omole Olateju, Head of Extension Services at FCT ADP, said the training serves as a forum for scientists and experts to teach ADP subject matter specialists about developments in agriculture.

Olateju noted the dynamic nature of agriculture and the need to stay updated on new production methods.

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He explained that specialists would train ADP subject matter specialists, who would then train extension workers to transmit the information to farmers.

These extension workers, he said would also gather information from farmers about their problems and bring it back to scientists to find solutions.

Olateju noted that since the training commenced, there had been significant improvements in farmers’ productivity and approaches to farming systems.

“The quantity of food produced in the country is insufficient to meet our needs, let alone for export; we are far from food security.

“However, with this programme, we have seen improvements in farmers’ production, the training covers crop production, fishery, animal production, and more,” Olateju said.

He added that the future of agriculture lies in the hands of smallholder farmers, who produce 70 per cent of the nation’s food.

Mr Solomon Idowu, Head of Technical Services at FCT ADP, said the training spans the six Area Councils and, when relayed to farmers, would help improve their productivity, put food on their tables, money in their pockets, and empower their livelihoods.

One participant, Mrs Dorcas Idowu, Zonal Extension Officer for Gwagwalada, noted that the training was timely and necessary to equip them with the knowledge to teach farmers.

She urged other participants to use the knowledge gained from the training to enhance the farming practices of local farmers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that three papers were presented on enhancing farming prosperity with tela maize cultivation, the production and management of sheep and goats (small ruminants), fish stocking and routine fish management.

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The participants were extensively trained on these topics to subsequently train the farmers. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Gregory Maduakalom/Abiemwense Moru

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