By Salisu Sani-Idris
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it has put in place adequate measures to make agriculture more attractive to the teeming youths in the territory.
In a statement on Friday, Malam Zakari Aliyu, the Deputy Director, Information, FCTA Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, quoted the acting Secretary of the secretariat, Alhaji Ishaq Sadeeq, as stating this while inspecting the FCT/Leventis Agricultural Training Centre, Yaba, in Abaji Area Council.
Sadeeq said the move was part of the FCTA’s efforts at addressing the challenges of unemployment, youth restiveness and criminal activities in the territory.
The acting secretary stated that the quest to eliminate hunger and guarantee food security in the country, could be achieved with the proper engagement of youth in agriculture.
He said the establishment of the centre, in collaboration with the Leventis Foundation, was part of the administration’s strategy to draw youths into agriculture.
Sadeeq added that the establishment of the centre aimed at equipping the youth with the necessary skills for food production and earning a sustainable livelihood.
He restated the resolve of the agriculture secretariat to strengthen its mentorship programme, to ensure that trainees of the centre were properly guided to keep abreast with modern trends in agricultural practice.
This would help to not only improve their living conditions, but also enable them to become employers of labour while contributing their quota to improving food security, he said.
Sadeeq assured the management of the centre that the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, who was passionate about agricultural empowerment, would do everything possible to address the challenges faced by the centre.
This, according to him, will ensure the realisation of the objectives for which it was established.
” The FCT Administration, as you are aware, is doing everything possible to create employment opportunities for our teeming youth population.
” We want to ensure that even after imparting them with knowledge, the follow-up support to them is effective, that will ensure their ability to operate in their various areas of practice, after graduation.”.
Earlier, the Principal of the centre, Mrs Agnes Yusuf, said that the foundation would continue to work to promote sustainability in agriculture and food production through training.
”Your presence here today has demonstrated yet again, the commitment of the FCT Administration’s dedication to providing quality training of agricultural businesses for the FCT populace”, she added.
Yusuf, however, appealed to the FCT Administration not to relent in its efforts at cushioning the effects of the institution’s challenges.
Also speaking, the Director, Agricultural Services at the secretariat, Mrs Francisca Ihekandu informed the acting secretary that the centre was established in 2007.
Since then, she added, the centre had trained over 700 youths in feed production, crop production, agro-forestry, livestock production, poultry, fish farming, rural enterprise development and agricultural engineering. (NAN)