The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, on Thursday said it has established fish farm estates to bridge the gap between fish supply and demand in Abuja.
A statement by Muhammad Sule, the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, said the administration would expand the project for fish exports.
The Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Olvadi Madayi, in an interactive session with the FCT Press Corps said the project, achieved through Public-Private-Partnership, PPP, had a 960 Ponds capacity.
She disclosed that, currently, 240 Ponds had been completed. She added that the ponds were expected to produce 500 tonnes of fishes and generate about 250 employments.
Mrs. Madayi stated that several facilities had already been provided by the FCTA in the estate to bring it to an international standard.
She also revealed that the FCTA had concluded plans to go into PPP to establish extracting machines for perishable farm products like tomatoes, mangoes etc. in order to ensure maximum preservation of these products and waste reduction after harvest.
She explained that Abuja had 274 hectares for agricultural development, with 51 per cent of this land currently under cultivation. She also noted that 63,957 farmers were registered under the Growth Enhancement Scheme in 2013, and 50,380 in 2012, totaling 114,337 farmers.
Mrs. Madayi emphasised that registration of the farmers was to ensure that they had access to adequate fertiliser, implements and improved seedlings for continued bumper harvest. “As at now, more farmers are being registered under the National Farmers Registration Initiative. In 2013, a total of 92,485 farmers redeemed their inputs, 183,768 bags of fertiliser and 1,035.9 metric tons of improved seeds of maize and rice from 23 redemption centers,” she disclosed.
She pointed out that the FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat had constructed some agriculture feeder roads to ensure that agricultural products easily got to the markets in the urban center from rural areas.
Some of the roads constructed include the 7km Kilankwa to Abuja/Lokoja express road in Kwali; 6km Pukafa-Eke road in Kwali and 3.5 km Kawu access road to integrated Farm Centre in Bwari.