By Stanley Onyekwere
The Director of Administration and Finance in the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat of the FCT Administration, Mr. Ibe Chukwuemeka has called on agricultural and food processing companies to adhere to required safety standards in the production of packages that are meant for food and agricultural purposes.
Ibe, who is overseeing the affairs of the ARDS expressed worry that the cosmopolitan nature of the FCT puts it at very high risk as findings indicated the proliferation of the markets with degradable Agro- packaging material which cuts across all aspects of the agricultural value chain.
He made this call at a one-day stakeholders workshop organized by the Secretariat in Gwagwalada, to sensitise farmers in the FCT on the effects of agricultural food materials on the ecosystem.
The Director, who was represented by the Project Coordinator, Fadama in the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Ajayi Rotimi, noted that the global phenomenum of technological advancement has made people increasingly dependent on these packaged products either for direct consumption or for agricultural purposes.
Ibe stressed that the quest to attain food security cannot be realized unless measures are taken to not only set standards for the companies in the production of these materials but also adopt measures to dispose the waste products so as to mitigate its harmful effect on the environment.
The ARDS boss therefore called on farmers to adopt simple practices in their farms to always clear and properly dispose waste agricultural and food packages from their farms
According to him: “studies have shown that the composition of some of these materials are laddened with numerous chemical preservatives. Materials such as plastics, polythene, metals etc. are dumped on the soil affects its fertility and endangers aquatic life in the waters.
“I will like to reiterate the commitment of the present FCT Administration under the Minister of the FCT, Muhammad Musa Bello as well as the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu to continue to support the implementation of people oriented programmes such as the one we are having today that will not only promote public health safety but also help in harnessing the potentials of the agricultural sector
.Earlier at the occasion, Mallam Tijani Lamidi, the Head of Planning in the Agricultural Development Project, (ADP) lauded the programme, which he said will help farmers increase their farm yields and capacities to generate more income.
Similarly, the Programme Coordinator, Mr. Philip Ojokojo while commending the participants drawn from the six Area Councils of the FCT for their commitment, urging them to take the acquired knowledge to others.
He assured that the Secretariat will ensure the sustenance of the campaign, which is critical to the success of the agricultural promotion policies of the FCT Administration.