In a bid to boost food production, tackle the effect of Climate Change on the socio-economic lives of the residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the FCT Executive Committee had at its 10th meeting held recently, approved the participation of the FCT in the Agro-Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid landscape (ACReSAL) project.
The ACReSAL project, is a multi-sectoral scheme, covering Environment, Agriculture, and water, is designed by the Federal Government to combat desertification, restore degraded lands, and special ecosystem for agriculture and biodiversity conservation.
It is also expected to tackle issues of water scarcity for Agricultural purposes and the negative impact of Climate Change on Agricultural productivity and livelihood of rural farmers in the country.
According to a statement by Muhammad Hazat Sule, the
Director, Information & Communication, FCT, the project, which is to be implemented in the 19 Northern States, including FCT is being facilitated by the Ministry of Finance and has already got the support of the World Bank with a loan facility of 700 million dollars, which FCT is among the beneficiaries.
The scheme, which is in line with President Muhammed Buhari ‘s sustainable goal of restoring 4 million hectares of degraded agricultural land by 3030, has long term objective of increasing the adoption of Climate Resilient Landscape management practice for environmental sustainability and improved agricultural yield for rural farmers, especially women and youth groups.
By approving the subsidiary loan agreement for the ACReSAL project, the FCT is expected to benefit the sum of 30 million dollars credit facility at a two percent interest rate, payable in 30 years and with a grace period of five years.
As part of the subsidiary loan agreement between the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria, a periodic allocation of the portion of the fund is to be made available to each participating state, including the FCT for the six years implementation period of the project.
FCT has agreed to participate in the program due to the availability of large-scale water shed management in the FCT in the lower Usman Dam and other water bodies because of ecosystem degradation within the catchment areas.
Some of the benefits of the project to the FCT include restoration of 17 hectares of degraded land for Agricultural purpose and biodiversity conservation, creation of over 25,000 direct jobs in the process of implementation of the project and adoption of climate smart irrigation Agriculture for improved agricultural yield and Climate Change mitigation.
Others are reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission, development of carbon credit facility towards payment for ecosystem services (PES).
Also, the project will assist in minimizing the ugly incidences of herders-farmers conflicts, over grazing land, and water among several other benefits.