Stories by Stanley Onyekwere
The Director of Administration and Finance, of the Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Mr. Ibe Prospect Chukwuemeka has reaffirmed the readiness of the Administration to partner with genuine investors towards harnessing the potentials of the Agricultural sector in the FCT.
Mr. Ibe stated this when he received a delegation of expatriates from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) who were at the Secretariat to interact with the management team on potential areas of partnership in the agricultural sector towards repositioning it towards economic empowerment of the populace and attainment of food security.
He appreciated the agency for focusing its intervention on women empowerment as majority of women particularly those in the rural areas are predominantly farmers, an occupation which they have engaged in to support their husbands as well as provide the needs of their families.
According to him; “I will like to commend your agency for its thoughtfulness in focusing its planned intervention on women empowerment.
“This will go a long way in improving their capacities to support their families. Through our efforts in the Secretariat, a lot of them have already organized themselves into clusters which will make it easy to access them.”
The Director added that Agricultural Extension Services as provided by the Secretariat has become more effective with the training and retraining of the officers to be in tune with global best practices as it relates to the Agricultural sector.
“We are very lucky to have a well-focused leadership under the Honorable Minister of State, FCT Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu who is giving the sector the desired attention.
“The Minister has made women and youth empowerment through Agriculture, one of her priorities.”
He disclosed that the 50% subsidy on all Agricultural input approved by the FCT Administration has helped to increase access of farmers to critical inputs thereby boosting food production.
Speaking earlier, the Country Representative of KOICA, Mr. Woochan Chang expressed KOICA’S desire to make positive impacts in the lives of rural women in the FCT through investments in the Agricultural sector.
He the consultation with relevant stakeholders particularly the FCT Administration through the ARDS is to enable them identify the areas of needs which will inform their next steps.
Chan thanked the management for availing them with the relevant information expressing his optimism towards having a fruitful partnership with the FCT Administration in no distant future.
Highpoint of the interactive session was a visit by the delegation to the FCT Agriculture Development Project, in Gwagwalada where they met with officials of the project and some group of farmers.