By Daniel Tyokua
The Federal Capital Territory Administration, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) has explained why the secretariat is concerned with the success of farmers in the Territory.
Mr Ibe Chukwuemeka, the Acting Secretary Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, said there is need for the farmers to be familiar with new farming strategies to enhance food security.
In view with keeping to the best practices, ARDS launched an awareness campaign on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), last week.
Chukwuemeka said the exercise signals the sensitisation of farmers in the territory to the adaption and building of “Resilient Agricultural and Food Security Systems’’.
At the launch of the campaign in the Palace of the Sa’peyi of Garki, Alhaji Usman Nga’kupi, Chukwuemeka said resilient agricultural and food security systems would mitigate effects of climate change and reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural activities
He noted that the issue of climate change had become a global phenomenon which was exacerbated by poor agricultural practices – burning of fossil fuels and cutting down forests among others.
Chukwuemeka added that those practices add enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
He explained that the concept of the climate smart agriculture which the FCT administration was promoting was aimed at enhancing the integration of agricultural development and climate responsiveness toward increasing food production.
“It is on this regard that the FCT administration directed that this sensitsation and awareness campaign be taken to all the 17 Chiefdoms of the FCT.
“This will enable the administration to educate the farmers and the general public on the adaptation and building of Resilient Agricultural and Food Security Systems, as well as the reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from Agricultural activities.’’
He said that the Department of Forestry had produced a multilingual handbook on Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation Measures in Agriculture.
Earlier, the Director, Forestry, Mrs Caroline Opara, said that it was imperative that farmers in the territory be equipped and updated with modern farming methods aimed at environmental sustainability in order to increase output.
Opara said that in 2020, five persons were arrested and prosecuted for forestry encroachment in some Areas Councils in the FCT, while two others were arrested in 2021.
The traditional ruler advised the department of forestry to be proactive in addressing forestry encroachment.
Nga’kupi also stressed the need for the FCT agriculture secretariat to establish “Forestry Guard’’ to curtail encroachment in the territory.