By Stanley Onyekwere
In furtherance of effort towards boosting food production, the FCT Agriculture and Rural Develoment Secretariat (ARDS), has taken awareness on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) to farmers, especially those in rural areas of Abuja, the nation’s capital city.
Our correspondent reports that farmers in the Territory were sensitised on adaption and building of “Resilient Agricultural and Food Security Systems’’.
According to the Acting Secretary of ARDS, Ibe Chukwuemeka, the resilient agricultural and food security systems would mitigate effects of climate change and reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural activities.
Chukwuemeka spoke at the launch of the awareness campaign on CSA at the Palace of the Sa’peyi of Garki, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He explained 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.
He added that those practices add enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
The ARDS boss noted that the concept of the climate smart agriculture which the FCT administration was promoting 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 stated.
He however, disclosed that the Department of Forestry had produced a multilingual handbook on Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation Measures in Agriculture.
Similarly, the Director, Forestry, Mrs Caroline Opara, stressed 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 revealed 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.
In his remarks, Sa’peyi of Garki, Alhaji Usman Nga’kupi, advised the Department of forestry to be proactive in addressing forestry encroachment in the Territory.
Nga’kupi also urged the FCT agriculture Secretariat to establish “Forestry Guard’’ to curtail encroachment in the Territory.
The monarch therefore cautioned his subjects to always shun practices that could impact negatively on the environment and farming.