Agriculture Remains Central To Nigeria Economy-Geidam

Agriculture is still central to the Nigeria economy and, therefore, should be encouraged.

The Secretary of FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Lawan Kolo Geidam, stated this when he visited the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) headquarters in Abuja.

The Secretary said that the pivotal role of agriculture in enhancing individual well-being and to the national economy cannot be overlooked.

Geidam, thus, commended JICA’s significant contributions to the agricultural sector in the FCT.

He appreciated the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for its enduring support to the agricultural sector in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Secretary stated that the purpose of the visit was not just to show appreciation, but also to engage with the officials of JICA regarding potential partnerships aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity, particularly in the rural communities and the rapidly growing population of the FCT.

He emphasized that their support has been crucial in elevating agricultural practices to higher standards; resulting in increased food production, improved nutrition, and reduced food insecurity.

Geidam highlighted several collaborative initiatives between the FCT and JICA, such as the Nutrition Enrichment Programme for women, Small-holder Horticulture Empowerment Promotion (SHEP), as well as local and international capacity-building programmes for extension agents and administrators, and various training initiatives for FCT rural farmers.

All of these, he said have impacted positively on the sector.

His words:”Your contributions have, no doubt, been pivotal in bolstering the Agricultural landscape of the FCT, inching it closer to achieving the shared aspiration of ensuring food security and improved social well-being of FCT’s populace. These efforts are indeed very much appreciated by the Administration and the good people of FCT.”

The secretary, however, expressed concern that despite these successes, there are still challenges such as those posed by climate change, limited access to agricultural funds/inputs, insufficient infrastructure, and post-harvest losses.

He stressed that by strengthening institutional partnership with well-meaning institutions like JICA, there will be greater benefits to the people.

In his remarks, the Chief representative of JICA, Mr. Susumu Yuzurio, thanked the Secretary for the visit.

He said the Agency is in partnership with the FCT Administration in many areas ranging from health, education, infrastructural development as well as agriculture.

Yuzurio stated that the knowledge transfer programmes, especially in agriculture through capacity building, will be sustained towards realizing shared developmental objectives.