The Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (ARDS) of the Administration of the FCT began this Tuesday an aggressive awareness campaign against the plague of invasive insects to farmers to promote food security in the territory.
The Secretariat’s Mandate Secretary, Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, declaring the awareness program open at the Kwali Area Council, said it was part of proactive measures to address the Autumn Army Worm (FAW) threat.
Ibrahim said that the commitment would help raise awareness that would help farmers to do whatever it takes to improve their productivity in the agricultural sector.
Represented, Director of Administration and Fice (DAF), the Secretary reiterated that the secretariat would do everything possible to ensure that it supports the program.
He noted that the fall armyworm threat had always been a very big problem and if you looked at the percentage of the ratio, if it was addressed effectively, about 30 percent would be lost.
According to him, the Administration of the FCT through the ARDS will support the farmers so that they are really aware and have unhindered access to all the necessary inputs to help them face this problem.
“So if nothing is done, 10 percent of the farmland or whatever they produce will be completely gone, which is why we are really giving them all the support and awareness that they need.
“And what we’re doing is involving farmer representatives in the six area councils.
“It is a continuous awareness campaign because the representatives of the six departmental councils are going to return to their domains and withdraw,” reiterated the head of the ARDS.
Previously, Ms. Francisca Ihekadu, Coordinator of the Ad-hoc Committee on Fall Armyworm (FAW) and Director of Agric Services, noted that since 2016, the FAW had brought tension and crisis to farmers in the FCT.
Ihekadu said that the fall armyworm portends danger to food security, which required global action for its management and control.
It revealed that the FCTA, through its FAW Ad-hoc Steering Committee, was stepping in to ensure the FCT was food-safe to control and manage FAW in the 2022 farming season.
According to her, FAW thrives well when there is a dry spell during the rainy season.
“And NIMET has forecast 15 days of drought on FCT between May and June, which is not good for corn production in the territory due to FAW infestation.”
He urged farmers to plant when the rain sets in in July, and encouraged them to put the knowledge of carefully selected experts to use.
According to her, this will allow them to be part of the success story of the food safety program at the FCT.
The National Project Coordinator for FAW, Dr. Adeleke Adetunji, said that the workshop was in line with promoting constant awareness of farmers.
He added that the program was very timely and adequate to ensure that the prevalence of fall armyworm was effectively managed and controlled.
He praised the FCTA for reviving the campaign, which he described as the right step in the right direction as it would help mitigate the impact of the pest on farmers.
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