Federal Capital Territory (FCT) farmers in the fisheries sub-sector have taken delivery of subsidised assorted fishery inputs from the Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS), to boost productivity.
The received items which included deep freezers, scop nets, culture tanks, fish feen and smoking icline, are part of the FCT Administration’s agricultural Support Initiative, aimed at bolstering food security and poverty alleviation in the Territory.
This is barely three weeks after the FCT through the ARDS distributed critical farm inputs to flag off the 2018 farming season in the nation’s capital.
Speaking during the official handing over of the items to FCT Fishery folks through balloting system, on Wednesday, in Bwari, Abuja, ARDS secretary, Stanley Ifeanyichukwu Nzekwe, said the scheme will improve access to inputs that are very costly and scarce.
Represented by Head, Veterinary Services in the Secretariat, Dr. Mrs. Regina Adulugba, the ARDS Boss disclosed that input worth N10 million will be distributed to beneficiaries in the first phase of the programme this year.
He adds that it’s hoped that before the end of the year, input worth about N15 million will be distributed to farmers, sellers and catchers, as it’s FCTA’s determination to make the scheme a continuous exercise for the benefit of fisher folks in FCT.
According to him, in a bid to increase fish production in FCT, the Secretariat seeks to collaborate with any interested investor in the development of the Maitama reservoir as a recreation and aquaculture centre.
“Our policy is therefore designed to increase fish catch and fish production, which will ultimately lead to poverty alleviation, increase in revenue base of the Secretariat, improvement of the income and standard of living of the FCT Fisher folks and encouragement of the subsidiary fisheries industry in the Territory,” he said.
Earlier, in his welcome address, ARDS Director Administration and Finance, Dr. L. Gaza, decried fish production from all sources has remained low, despite the huge endowment of natural fisheries resources in FCT.
He stressed that the Secretariat’s commitment to sustain the laudable programme, the yawning gap between fish demand and supply would have been significantly reduced.