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Published On: Wed, Dec 27th, 2017

2018: ARDS to engage more youth in farming

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Stories by Stanley Onyekwere

The FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) looks to take thousands of youths into selected agricultural value chains in 2018, in the Territory.
To this end, the Secretariat said it’s already working closely with the six FCT Area Councils to ensure it reaches out to greater number of youths in the territory.
The Secretary for ARDS, Nzekwe Stanley Ifeanyichukwu dropped this hint during the secretariat’s end-of-year media briefing.
He said the Secretariat had also ensured the revival of some of the agric programmes which would ensure the youths interact with farmers.
“This is to help them key into the various Federal Government programmes, to ensure their successful implementation in the FCT.
“One of such programmes is the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme.
“We have indicated our interest to be part of the scheme which will take effect in 2018.
“It is coordinated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and it aims at creating 10,000 jobs for youths in the Area Councils,’’ he explained.
The ARDS boss therefore assured that the secretariat would actualise the programme within the shortest possible time, saying working with relevant stakeholders would aid the scheme’s actualisation.
According to him, “Our mandate in the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat is tied to the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) of the Federal Government.
“This is predicated on working with key stakeholders to build an agri-business economy capable of delivering sustained prosperity by meeting domestic food security, generating exports and supporting sustainable income and job growth.
The secretary said the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat had also made concerted efforts to raise the standard of services, as well as facilities, in the various abattoirs in the territory.
He added that the secretariat had also started the rehabilitation of dilapidated facilities, in addition to the provision of new ones in the abattoirs.
He however, thanked the Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Bello, for his role in bringing development to the territory.

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