By Mohammed Mohammed
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) Dr. Ernest Umakhihe has said that the Ministry was committed to the welfare of staff of the Ministry.
The 3-days entrepreneurship training and empowerment programme for retiring officers was in compliance with the Federal Civil Services Strategy Implementation Plan (FCSSIP) to improve welfare and well-being of the Federal Civil Servants.
The event took place recently at the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute, ARMTI, Gudu-Apo in Abuja.
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director, Special Duties, Mrs. Fausat Lawal, harped on the need for all staff to be involved in the agro-allied practices while in service, as agriculture is the only window of opportunity available for extra earnings arising from relevant rules and regulations for civil servants in Government business.
He explained that the exercise would definitely mitigate the fears of the unknown by those about to retire from active service and would further develop a roadmap for sustainable livelihood among civil servants.
Speaking further, Dr. Umakhihe added that the initiative would also improve the service delivery, provide a lifetime engagement after civil service, address post- retirement challenges often faced by unskilled retirees and contribute to the Nation’s food security.
The Permanent Secretary, therefore, urged every staff of the Ministry to engage in backyard agricultural activity being the only window of opportunity available for extra earnings arising from the
constitutional provision for civil servants in government business, poverty reduction and job creation.
In his remarks, the Director Legal, FMARD, Mr. Shaibu Abdulrahim, commended the Ministry for the initiative towards the welfare of retiring civil servants.
He advised that the product packaging, Labelling and registration should be documented legally.
One of the resource persons from the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA), Mr. Austin Adegoke in his presentation said, Potatoes can be used for various varieties of food e.g. Flour, Chin-chin , Buns, Smoothie, Meat-pie, Potato Vegetable soup among others.
Responding on behalf of the participants, Mr. Manguts Yambans commended the Ministry for the laudable empowerment program, pointing out that, “It is a privilege to be one of the participants at the agro-allied activities”.
He therefore promised to put the starter packs made available to them to good use.
Highlight of the event was the training in Poultry business, Orange, Fleshed Sweet Potato OFSP Production, Vegetables and Marketing.