FCT – ACReSAL distributes 10 tractors, 140 tillers, others to community groups

The Federal Capital Territory Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (FCT- ACReSAL) Project Implementation Unit, has distributed 10 tractors and 140 power-tillers to Community Interest Groups (CIGs) in Abuja.

Also distributed were three utility vehicles, improved seeds, fertilisers, insecticides and other agro chemicals, under the ACReSAL project.

This is in addition to the inauguration of one of the eight solar-powered boreholes at Sheda Cassava Women Processing Centre, Kwali, under the project’s livelihood support initiative.

Dr Mariya Mahmoud, Minister of State, FCT, explained during the distribution exercise in Kwali on Tuesday, that ACReSAL was a World Bank-supported project.

Mahmoud reiterated FCT’s commitment to the ACReSAL’s goals of reclaiming degraded lands and improving the livelihood of communities through best agricultural practices.

She said that the project was designed to enhance community resilience against climate change, and enhance the livelihoods of communities in the 19 northern states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory.

She noted that FCT was grappling with the devastating consequences of large-scale land degradation for 48 years.

This, she said, had resulted from rapid infrastructural development leading to substantial loss of its precious tree covers.

She expressed optimism that the ACReSAL project, with its bold and ambitious land restoration initiatives, targets the reclamation of over 10,000 hectares of degraded land in the territory.

“We are committed to providing all that is required through the relevant secretariat, departments and agencies of the FCT Administration, to ensure the success of this worthy initiative.

“Ultimately, our goal is to secure a brighter future for our citizens, where their livelihoods and wellbeing are protected and enhanced, and we believe that ACReSAL is a critical step towards achieving this vision”.

The minister further noted that the agricultural sector, which was the mainstay of the nation’s economy, has been the most severely affected by climate change’s devastating impacts.

According to her, the situation not only impacts national food security negatively, but also jeopardises the livelihoods of millions of people, exacerbating poverty and vulnerability.

She said that the distribution of the inputs was a strategic response to one of the most pressing challenges faced by farmers.

She identified the challenges to include lack of access to critical agricultural inputs and limited knowledge of sustainable landscape management practices.

“It is our hope that this support will build farmers’ resilience and their capacities to contribute meaningfully to food security and sustainable development in the FCT,” she stressed.

She called on the Area Council Chairmen, chairing the Local Government Implementation Committee of the ACReSAL project, to monitor the community utilisation of the tractors and other machines to achieve the desired objectives.

In his remarks, Mr Lawan Geidam, Mandate Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, said that the ACReSAL project implementation unit had put necessary structures in place for smooth implementation of the project.

Geidam explained that the three utility vehicles would be handed over to various institutions as part of ACReSAL’s institutional strengthening initiative.

The goal, according to him, is to enhance their capacities to serve communities better in activities that align with the project development objectives of ACReSA,” he affirmed.

He added that the eight solar-powered boreholes, constructed in eight communities, were to provide access to potable water for daily living and agricultural activities.

The mandate secretary added that the CIGS have been trained and registered as cooperative groups for effective utilisation of the inputs.

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