In an effort to cushion the after – effect of COVID-19 and promote commercial acqua-culture in the Nation’s Capital,the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has spent about 62 million naira on provision of fishery inputs across the Six Area Councils in the last one year.
Mandate Secretary, FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), Abubakar Ibrahim, dropped this hint during the 2022 end of Year media briefing in Abuja, on Thursday.
He said the amount was used in the purchase of assorted fishery inputs including cold storage facilities, culture tanks, fish seeds and fish which was distributed to FCT fisher folks at 50 per cent subsidy, recently.
In the words of the mandate Secretary:”it has become imperative that alternative fish species be developed to diversify and boost fish production and prevent what may later turn to monotony”
The secretary stated that the programme was going to have direct impact on domestic fish production, boost FCT economy and job creation along the value chain.
Ibrahim revealed that over 2,000 livestock farmers and dealers have been profiled, sensitized and trained across the six area councils on organic poultry farming, proper hygiene practices in farming and formulation of cheap poultry feeds for small-holder farmers.
“We have made provision for assorted fishery inputs ranging from cold storage facilities, culture tanks, fish seeds and feeds worth about N62 million naira. The items were distributed to them recently”
Most importantly, Ibrahim said the Secretariat has engaged a team of experts on animal husbandry to develop a 10-year Livestock Development Plan for the territory.
He explained that the plan, which is currently undergoing validation, was designed to set a framework for all development activities in the livestock sector to realize the expected potential of food and nutrition security.
Adding that the mandate secretary said that the plan would also enhance revenue inflow for the FCT and the country at large.
Similarly, the secretary disclosed that animal husbandry officers were also undergoing vigorous training in relevant areas for planning and implementation of key livestock development projects in the FCT.
“There is an overwhelming belief that with the right support by government, the livestock sector can become a leading source of foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria.
“It is in line with this that the FCT Administration increased funding for the provision of infrastructure and the required services to develop capacity of livestock farmers and provide the right environment that will attract investment and develop the sector.
“The partnership with Nestle Food Nig. Plc. has resulted in the upgrade of the Milk Collection and Chilling Centres at the Paikon-Kore reserve and a remarkable increase in training and empowerment of Milk producers in the reserve and surrounding areas.
“These interventions has significantly boosted milk production and bulking to cover 2,000 litres per day as against 100 to 200 litres daily.
“This partnership has definitely added value in terms of income and improved quality of livelihood for the milk producers and other service providers in the community,” he said.
However, the Secretary revealed that the secretariat was not back-tracking on its planned clampdown on unregistered veterinary service centres within the territory.
According to him, the clampdown is will uproot all quacks that have variously contributed to jeopardizing the development of livestock sector.
Ibrahim also disclosed that the 13-man committee earlier constituted by the secretariat to review all veterinary practice in Abuja, had completed its work.
He explained that in a matter of days, the enforcement team would be deployed to shut down all unregistered veterinary facilities.
“The committee is set to begin enforcement from Dec. 15, and it is mandated to close down facilities that are unregistered and failed to comply with regulatory guidelines.” He warned.