FG trains farmers in Nasarawa State in maize value chain


The Extension Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with Sledge Consulting Limited, has started the training of farmers in Nasarawa State in maize value chain.
Hajia Aishatu Mohammed, Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Extension Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, made this known at a one-day training workshop on Maize Value Chain for Extension Agents (EA) in Lafia on Wednesday.
She said that the ministry would first train 20 Extension Agents in the state who would, in turn, train 25 maize farmers each in their various localities.
Mohammed said that the training would go a long way to equip the farmers with the requisite knowledge on how best use maize to produce diverse foods for human consumption.
“We are targeting 500 farmers in Nasarawa State. That is why we are training 20 Extension Agents who will, in turn, train 25 farmers each,” she said.
She said that farmers in the state would be equipped with new technologies and ideas on how to add value to their maize yields and use appropriate insecticides to protect their harvests from insects and infections.
Earlier, Mr Stephen Kpama, the Programme Manager of Nasarawa Agricultural Development Programme (NADP), appealed to the extension agents to remain focused during the training.
“One of the reasons for this training is because Nasarawa State is one of the major maize-producing states in the country.
“ I urge all of you to listen very attentively so that you can be able to step down what we have taught you here to farmers in your various localities,” he said.
Mr Emmanuel Allalana, Director of Extension Services, NADP, said that the training would educate farmers on how to add value to their produce.
Allalana, who is also a resource person at the training, said that the training became imperative because Nigeria, which was producing about 10.2 million tonnes of maize as at 2013, still needed more than five million tonnes to satisfy its annual requirement of 16 million tonnes.
He attributed the increase in demand for maize to the increasing number of persons consuming the product in the country.
“We are training you to train farmers on how to add value to their harvest to enable us to meet our national target. You are change agents; it is your duty to change our maize farmers,” he said.
Mr Bawa Ishaku, an extension agent, said that the training would go a long way in educating farmers on how to increase their production.

“Some of the things we have learnt today are what farmers are eager to know. If our farmers adhere to what we are going to teach them, it will go a long way in improving maize production in the state,’’ he said.  

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