By Ben Adoga
The collaboration between the Federal Capital Territory Administration, (FCTA) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (IITA) on capacity building and effective application of research findings in Agricultural production received a boost recently with the presentation of improved seed varieties to the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat.
In a statement made available to Orient Daily by Zakari Aliyu, Deputy Director, Information in the FCT Agric and Rural Development Secretariat, the Acting Secretary assured that the capacity building would surely add value to Agric sector and improve the lives of the people.
Aliyu stated that the Director, Agricultural Services, Dr. Nkem Akanegbu, who stood in for the Acting Secretary Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat Mr. Ibe Prospect Chukwuemeka to receive the delivery, expressed the appreciation of the Administration for the gesture which she noted will have the multiplier effect of increasing farm yield, improve the quality of the farm produce and income for farmers.
She expressed delight that the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations is beginning to yield the positive results as demonstrated in the donation of the improved seeds, reiterating the commitment of the Administration to supporting the Agricultural research of the institute which is critical in the quest to attain food security.
She disclosed that as part of efforts by the Administration to address the issue of youth unemployment and poverty, the Agriculture & Rural Development Secretariat has been working with the Area Council Authorities to mobilise interested farmers to participate in the training programmes of the institute.
Nkem noted that the seeds will be distributed to farmers as well as cooperative groups
In her words, “I wish to commend the IITA for this support which is very timely in view of the fact that we are at the beginning of the new farming system. The role of quality seeds in Agricultural Development of any nation is not in doubt, high quality seeds are vital to increasing food production. Quality seeds are the fuel for Agricultural development”.
She acknowledges that the partnership is a giant step in the right direction and is welcomed wholeheartedly by the Federal Capital Territory Administration.
Dr Gbaasey Tarawali, Head IITA Abuja Station in his address expressed the readiness of the Institute to help improve farming practices through research, exhibition and demonstration for maximum productivity and better livelihood.
While thanking the FCT Administration for its support Mr. Tarawali gave assurances that the youth training programme of the Institute, which is designed for IT student, Youth Corp members and other organized youth groups in the FCT will be further strengthened to enhance job creation.
The high point of the event was the presentation of improve seeds comprising maize, cowpea and soybeans which are to be multiplied and distributed to more farmers in the FCT.