The Federal Capital Territory Administration has empowered 600 youths with practical skills in Greenhouse farming technology, targeted at propelling them to gainfully venture into agriculture sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the youths drawn from the FCT Agriculture based groups across the six area councils would be exposed to greenhouse management practices.
The Mandate Secretary for the FCTA Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, while inaugurating the programme said it is in line with the policy thrust of the FCTA predicated on unearthing the abundant potentials of the agriculture sector in the territory.
He said that the agriculture secretariat is committed to positively engage the teeming population of youths in productive ventures across the various agricultural value chains.
Ibrahim noted that the secretariat veered into the greenhouse crop production in 2020 as pilot demonstration project for FCT youths, which has now metamorphosed into a venture with huge commercial benefits.
“This is part of President Muhammadu Buhari call for us; the agencies and ministries to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
”So we are introducing a new technology (Green House farming in the FCT) which is an all-year round programme to encourage our youths and women to venture into agriculture sector.
“Because, as we all know, everyday the population of Abuja is increasing as people from all walks of life come to look for jobs, and we don’t have the jobs. This is why we are introducing this new technology.
“At the end of the training, we are going to empower them with some starter-packs that would help them to advance their skills and knowledge.
“Already, we have gotten approval from the Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu to establish additional two new greenhouses in Bwari and Kwali Area Councils, respectively.
”My hope is before I leave office, is to replicate this in the six area councils of the FCT,” he said.
Earlier, the FCTA Director of Agriculture Services, Mrs Ihekandu Francisca, explained that greenhouse technology was a new method of rapid multiplication of crop commodities, under controlled climate and environmental factors for increase crop yields.
She added that the training would empower farmers, ensure self-sufficiency in sustainable agriculture, reduce youth restiveness, rural-urban drift, create jobs and alleviate poverty in the territory.
Also, Station Head, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Kubwa, Prof. Lateef Sanni, noted that recently the organisation signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), to promote partnership with the FCTA.
He said one of the first case study was the issue of the use of greenhouse technology, which was the practical demonstration of green innovation.
Danni added that it was also a hand-aide tool for the youths, as it is more or less an urban farming system, with available market for the produce.
“On behalf of IITA, I want to compliment the initiative with a solar house technology for the processing and preservation of the post harvest, which we have done in other countries.
“I commend the FCT Minister of State, the Mandate Secretary and directors for this initiative.
”If we all work together, definitely, we are going to create more jobs for the youths and enhance our economic development as a nation.”
Experts say greenhouse farming is a type of farming in which crops are cultivated under protected and enclosed environment.
Greenhouse farming is becoming very popular in Nigeria because of its advantages of keeping out pests and diseases and its comparable yield advantage to open filed cultivation of crops. (NAN