IITA attends flag-off of FCT 2019 farming season
IITA made a strong appearance at the Federal Capital Territory Administration Flag-off of the 2019 Farming Season on 21 May in Abuja. The IITA stand featured publications and products including Aflasafe, vine cutting technology, cassava stem varieties, rice, cowpea, maize, and soybean varieties.
The IITA exhibition facilitated the effective delivery of the FCTA partnership with IITA. In his opening remarks, the Secretary of Agriculture Hon. Nzekwe Stanley Ifeanyichukwu expressed optimism that the presence of IITA in the FCT will be harnessed for the benefit of its farmers.
FCT Flag-off Farming Season is organized yearly through its Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) to assist FCT farmers with farm inputs and technologies, and facilitate access to knowledge and information on agriculture. The highlight of the 2019 event was the Hon. Secretary’s announcement that, unlike in the past when middlemen pay and collect bulk products only to resell at high prices, this year’s products have been streamlined and regulated. He said that to ensure that the real rural farmers benefit from the sale of subsidized fertilizers at 50% discount, ARDS has decentralized the sale into six distribution centers including Bwari, Gwagwa, Gwagwalada, Kwali, Maje, and Tungan.
FCT Executive Secretary Engr Umar Gambo Jibrin, who represented the FCT Minister, disclosed that this year’s farming was an improvement on last year’s, as several innovations were introduced. He thanked major stakeholders in the FCT such as IITA for their continuous support.