By Stanley Onyekwere
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has commenced intensive sensitisation of farmers in the Territory, targeted at boosting food production, through adaption and building of “Resilient Agricultural and Food Security Systems’’.
To this end, the FCTA launched an awareness campaign on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) yesterday, at the Palace of the Sa’peyi of Garki, Abuja.
Speaking at the event, Acting Secretary, FCTA Agriculture and Rural Develoment Secretariat,
Mr Ibe Chukwuemeka, said the resilient agricultural and food security systems would mitigate effects of climate change and reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural activities.
Ibe 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 noted that those practices add enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
According to him, 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”, the ARDS boss stated.
Furthermore, Ibe disclosed 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 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.
On his part, Sa’peyi of Garki, Alhaji Usman Nga’kupi traditional ruler advised the department of forestry to be proactive in addressing forestry encroachment.
Nga’kupi also urged the FCT agriculture Secretariat to establish “Forestry Guard’’ to curtail encroachment in the Territory.
He however cautioned his subject against practices that could impact negatively on the environment and farming.