By Stanley Onyekwere
Efforts to ensure food security through effective application of research findings in agricultural production received a boost with the delivery of improved seed varieties to the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS).
It was gathered that the improved seeds comprising maize, cowpea and soyabeans, are to be multiplied and distributed to more farmers and cooperative groups in FCT.
This was disclosed in a statement from the Deputy Director, Information, of the ARDS, which was yesterday made available to PeoplesDaily.
According to the statement, it’s a fallout from the collaboration between the Federal Capital Territory Administration, (FCTA) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (IITA) on capacity building in agricultural research.
The statement read:
“The Director, Agricultural Services, Dr. Nkem Akanegbu, stood in for the Acting Secretary of ARDS, Ibe Prospect Chukwuemeka to receive the delivery, expressed the appreciation of the Administration for the gesture.
“She noted will have the multiplier effect of increasing farm yield, improve the quality of the farm produce and income for farmers.
“She expressed delight that the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations is beginning to yield the positive results as demonstrated in the donation of the improved seeds, reiterating the commitment of the Administration to supporting the Agricultural research of the institute which is critical in the quest to attain food security”.
It added that the disclosed that as part of efforts by the Administration to address the issue of youth unemployment and poverty, the ARDS has been working with the Area Council authorities to mobilise interested farmers to participate in the training programmes of the institute.
In her words, “I wish to commend the IITA for this support which is very timely in view of the fact that we are at the beginning of the new farming system.
“The role of quality seeds in Agricultural Development of any nation is not in doubt, high quality seeds are vital to increasing food production. Quality seeds are the fuel for agricultural development”.
Head, IITA Abuja Station in his address, Dr. Gbaasey Tarawali, expressed the readiness of the Institute to help improve farming practices through research, exhibition and demonstration for maximum productivity and better livelihood.
Tarawali, while thanking the FCT Administration for its support, gave assurances that the youth training programme of the Institute, which is designed for IT student, Youth Corp members and other organized youth groups in the FCT will be further strengthened to enhance job creation.