The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) is to establish a Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) in livestock production, processing and marketing.
Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, made this known during the 8th edition of the “FEED Nigeria Summit 2021″ with the theme, ” Post COVID-19: A Repaired Food System, Pathway to a Revived Economy, in Abuja.
Aliyu, who was represented by Mr. Chukwuemeka Prospect, FCT, explained that the SAPZ would improve and modernise livestock productivity for national food nutrition security by making available quality and price competitive beef and dairy products for local and export markets.
She said the FCTA has identified agro- industrialisation as a fast – track means of boosting agricultural productivity and food security and equally created jobs for teeming restful youth population.
” Our commitment in this area is evidenced in our level of preparedness for the establishment of a SAPZ in livestock production, processing and marketing.
” The FCT-SAPZ will provide the avenue for harnessing the territory’s vast agricultural land resources, to trigger massive grassroots development, prevent farmer-pastoralist resource- sharing conflicts and make the FCT a new livestock production hub in the West African sub- Region,” she said.
The minister said the core of the FCT Agricultural policies was the implementation of grassroots developmental programmes that were targeted at harnessing the vast arable land mass.
” The FCT Master Plan earmarked about 274,000 hectares of land for agricultural development, 270,000 hectares as forest reserve and another 60,000 hectares as land over classified as rivers and hills,” she said.
Also speaking, Professor Gbolagade Ayoola, Executive Director, Farm and Infrastructure, in his paper presentation stressed on the need to perfectly implement and actualise policies.
The paper is titled: ” Towards a New Agricultural Policy, Strategy or Plan for Nigeria during 2021 to 2025″
Also, Professor Garba Sharubutu, Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, called for extensive training of agricultural students, better funding for extension workers and empowering youths who are interested in agriculture.
He noted that extension services are a specialised and important area that requires a good understanding of the environment.
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