Nutrition: FCTA engages 300 women on tomato processing, preservation technique

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By Muhammad Abdullahi, Abuja

No fewer than three hundred rural women of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have received improved skills in processing and preservation of Tomato using the very effective hot bottle technique, aimed at ensuring nutrition improvement and food security in the Territory and beyond.


The women, mostly farmers from selected FCT women groups participated in a capacity building workshop organized by the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS) of the FCT Administration, in Gwagwalada, on Tuesday.


Our correspondent reports that the training programme, which is an outcome of the collaboration between the FCT Administration, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on nutrition improvement, have been in existence since 2017.


Delivering his keynote address at the event, ARDS Secretary, Abubakar Ibrahim, noted that the Hot bottle technique lays emphasis on the use of organic products in the processing and preservation processes, in line with the ongoing global campaign to promote the practice of organic Agriculture for its nutritional and health benefits.


Ibrahim said it imperative to support the programme, so as to bequeath home makers (women) the skills that will help save cost, minimize loss and improve nutritional intake in their homes.


He enjoin them to take advantage of the capacity programme to improve their families food and nutrition security.
He acknowledged that the support FCTA have received from JICA in the sponsorship of ARDS staff for series of capacity building programmes in Japan have proven to be a success as the officers have stepped down their knowledge to improve the livelihood of rural women of the FCT.


“I want to assure you that the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat will ensure the sustenance of this programme. To this end, all the participants numbering 300 will be given free complementary training materials which includes special bottles, tomatoes, onions and pepper to enable them practice their new found knowledge at home.
“I express appreciation on behalf of the FCT Administration to the management of JICA for their support and also to our women, who have no doubt endured so much difficulties, in order to ensure the wellbeing of their families.
“The Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who has been in the fore-front of campaign for gender equality and economic empowerment for women and youth, has equally lined up series of activities that will improve the livelihood of women in FCT. 
“The Secretariat will continue to mobilise more and more women to benefit from the various Agricultural programmes of the FCTA.”


While speaking the Director, Planning Research and Statistics of the ARDS, Yahaya Husseini, said the training is one of the activities of the FCTA to empower hardworking women to be self-reliance using local technology in the Territory.
He noted that the training was apt, as it is the obligation and collective responsibility of managers of public institutions and key stakeholders in the industry to change the business of agriculture, which has been left mostly to the peasant farmers.


According to him, FCT has a deliberate policy to promote the development of a sustainable commercial agriculture that will not only guarantee increased farm income but also ensure availability of sufficient food for the ever growing population of the Territory.