Fadama III programme trains agric officers in commercial agriculture


The Third National Fadama Development Project in Jos on Monday began a four-day training workshop for its staff across five states on the commercial approach to agriculture.
The training, which was organised in collaboration with the Nigerian Agriculture Enterprise Curriculum, has ‘‘Commercial Approach to Agricultural Subsistence Practice’’ as its theme.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop drew participants from Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Benue, Plateau and the FCT.
In his opening remarks, Mr Gideon Dandam, the Coordinator of Fadama III project in Plateau, said that the rationale behind the training was to encourage farmers to embrace commercial agriculture so as to boost food production.
He said that the training would also create an avenue for farmers to know where and when to market their produce after harvests, with a view to making more profit.
“This training is focusing on two major issues; first, to make farming known to farmers as a business and second, to link them with the available markets for their products.
‘‘Our farmers need to be educated so they can fully understand the new dimension which agriculture has taken — the business dimension.
‘‘We all know that marketing has been a major challenge to our farmers; hence, we shall educate them on when and where they can sell their produce after harvest.
‘‘So, what we will be doing for the next four days is to train these officers who will, in turn, go back and train the farmers on the business aspect of farming,’’ he said.
Dandam said that part of the training would be devoted to lessons on records keeping, as this had posed serious challenges to farmers, particularly in the rural areas.
The Plateau Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Linda Barau, who declared the training open, said that the exercise was aimed at equipping the farmers with the requisite knowledge that would enable them to expand the scope of their farming activities.
“We all know that our farmers have been farming solely for local consumption but today, the trend has changed; farming is now a big business all over the world.
‘‘So, this train-the-trainers workshop will further equip farmers with the needed knowledge and techniques that will facilitate their efforts to expand the scope of their farming activities,’’ she said.
Barau urged the participants to ensure that they later organised workshops for farmers so as to pass the knowledge they acquired in the training down to the farmers in their respective states.
The commissioner reiterated the commitment of the Plateau Government toward agriculture, with a view to making the state the hub of food production in the country.
“We have the land, the manpower, the political will, and above all, the needed peace on the Plateau.

‘‘All that the government wants at this moment is to empower the state economically through agriculture,’’ she added.

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