By Taofeek LAWAL, Abuja
As part of the activities to celebrate 2021 World Milk Day, the FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) has engaged Fulani pastorists and women on sustainable dairy processing, in Paikon-Kore Grazing Reserve, Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja on Tuesday.
ARDS marked this year’s edition with the theme: ‘sustainability in the diary sector’ organised in partnership with a food processing company, one of the major partners of the FCTA, in the development of grazing reserves in the territory.
FCT Acting ARDS Secretary, Ibe Chukwuemeka, while speaking at the event said the tay is celebrated with activities aimed at not only creating awareness on the importance of consumption of milk and dairy products, but the economic value associated with it as a business.
Represented by Director of Administration, Mrs. Ann Ijeoma, Chukwuemeka stated that since 2001 when the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) institutionalised the day as annual event in its calendar, countries around the world have consistently marked it with series of activities.
“The Administration no doubt recognises the important role that livestock subsector play in its desire to attain food security, create jobs and improve the general well-being of residents. To this end, the Administration has through the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) continued to put in place the necessary infrastructure towards enhancing the day-to-day activities in the four grazing reserves across the FCT.
“In line with the theme of this year’s celebration “sustainability in the dairy sector”, the administration has been in collaboration with reputable investors in upgrading activities at the grazing reserves. The ARDS has been able to organise dairy farmers in the FCT into various cooperative groups to enable them easily access support. This has equally enabled the Secretariat enlighten and train the farmers them on hygienic milk handling practices to help improve the quality and market value of their products”, the ARDS acting secretary noted.
In the same vein, the Acting Director, Animal Husbandry of the Secretariat, Evangelist Ngozi Mbaka, said the secretariat would continue to provide the needed infrastructure in the grazing reserves as well as empower livestock farmers in all the six Area Councils.
The event attracted most of the pastoralists within and outside the Paikon-Kore in Gwagwalada Area Council, who delivered their goodwill messages.