THE Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Tuesday, commenced sensitization campaign on the implementation of the Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (AADS) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the territory.
It will be recalled that the FCTA has keyed into the scheme, a Federal Government special agricultural programme under Nigeria’s apex bank, which targets about 10,000 young farmers in FCT and per state.
Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) of the FCTA, Nzekwe Stanley Ifeanyichukwu, while flagging off the sensitization campaign in Abaji Area Council, noted that if the scheme was successfully implemented, it would take unemployed youth off the streets and help maintain food stability in Nigeria.
The ARDS boss, who was represented by the Acting Director, Agricultural Development Project (ADP), Mr Musa Doma, said the exercise was conceived to pave way for AADS smooth implementation and greater participation.
According to him, “the criteria for participation in the scheme, prospective farmers must be between the ages of 18-35 years and must belong to cooperative organizations. Farmers will also be required to open accounts with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA).
“In addition, each state is expected to identify a maximum of two commodities where it enjoys a comparative advantage and the FCT has identified maize and cassava as the two commodities of preference.’’
Also speaking, the CBN’s Desk Officer, FCT Development Finance Office, Mr Shankyula Moses explained that the scheme was a departure from past intervention schemes where cash was given directly to beneficiaries who sometimes used the money for a different purpose.
The CBN, he said would rather give all the necessary service support like seeds, fertilizer, as well as chemicals and equipment.
He expressed confidence that the new arrangement would help to further ramp up domestic production of identified commodities.
On his part, Ona of the Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Baba Yunusa expressed his delight over the scheme and advised managers of the scheme to put all the necessary things in place for the scheme to succeed.
He also gave assurance in the mobilization of his subjects, assuring to consult with the Area Councils towards providing the needed land.
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