By Daniel Tyokua
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat has issued measures for operations in the agricultural sector during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
Malam Zakari Aliyu, deputy director information of the secretariat, in a statement, said the secretary Ibe Chukwuemeka explained that the operational guidelines covers five key sectors which includes abattoir and slaughter slabs, Veterinary Clinics, livestock markets, fish processing facilities and agric extension services.
He said that the administration would ensure strict surveillance of all entry points into the FCT to ensure that meat brought into the Abuja are duly certified by Veterinary officials to be safe for consumption.
Chukwuemeka said that the use of infrared thermometers would be mandatory for all those entering the facilities.
He reassured farmers of the administration’s commitment to the provision of basic support for farmers toward the attainment of food security in the territory and beyond.
Similarly, he said that protective items such as hand sanitisers and running water with antibacterial soap would be kept at the entry points into the facilities which must be used before access was allowed into any of the facilities.
”The use of face masks is to become mandatory. 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.
”In order to avoid congestion at the various facilities, social distancing measures will be adopted and enforced at all the facilities” he said.
Chukwuemeka said that the measures would help to mitigate the spread of the disease, adding that agricultural sector was key to 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,” Ibe said.
He said that the FCT Administration was in discussions at various levels with the African Development Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria and other Corporate organisations towards the actualisation of the food security, wealth creation and empowerment of FCT residents.