Katsina State has commenced training on value addition and entrepreneurship for farmers in Nigeria’s North-West Geo political zone.
The training is targeted at job creation and to help farmers in the zone process their ‘‘produce of sorghum, millet and corn into products that can generate more income.’’
It is organised by West African Agricultural Productivity Programme, WAAPP-Nigeria, in collaboration with the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, FIIRO.
The four-day programme will see farmers get trained on how to process sorghum, millet and corn into kunu, pap and flour.
Farmers will also be trained on different methods of preservation and storage of the end product.
While declaring the training open, the National coordinator of WAAPP-Nigeria Dr. James Apochi said he hopes that at the end of the training participant would be able ‘‘to produce these products, check the quality of the raw materials and the materials produced, market the products and manage the business profitably.’’
Dr. Apochi said the value addition and entrepreneurship training has so far covered three Geo-political zones; namely, South-East, South-South and North-central zones.
“The objective is to train 50 unemployed youths and women from the six Geo-political zones of Nigeria on selected technologies based on raw materials of comparative advantage in each of the zones. For North-West, it is Sorghum processing into beverages (production, packaging and preservation), tomato processing and Zobo production, packaging and preservation,” he explained.
The National Coordinator said the exercise was meant to provide entrepreneurship and small management training skills for beneficiaries.
He urged the participants to take advantage of the opportunity given to them to contribute their quarter to agriculture and the development of the North-West zone and country.
The Commissioner of Agriculture Suleiman Yakubu said Katsina State government has aligned itself with the Nigerian Governments plans to boost agriculture.
He said “we are also collaborating with the Nigerian government under the FADAMA programme, the IFAD programme for climate change, the e-programme that is the youth empowerment and I know that very soon the National programme on food security is also picking up, all this programmes are aimed at boosting agriculture in Katsina State and also Nigeria in general.”
The commissioner said efforts are ongoing to attract more economic activities to the Katsina.
According to him, “The State government has already carved out a programme that will make sure that agricultural produce are not only produced for consumption but for export purposes. We want to encourage our farmers to go into large scale farming so that excess farm produce can be exported and earn the country foreign exchange and also income for our farmer’’
Yakubu further pointed out, “The State is collaborating with the Nigerian Government under the LAKAJI programme that is the Lagos, Kano, Katsina and Jibia railway lines that is going to link up so that farmers can move their agriculture produce including sorghum out of the country, the state has also gone into collaboration with JAIZ Bank to expand the Airport so that Cargo planes can land.”
One of the participants at the training Mrs. Asmau Usarah from Kebbi State who spoke on behalf of other participants highlighted some of their expectation from the training.
Mrs Usarah said they are expected to learn new techniques on how to preserve sorghum so that they can go back to their States and in turn teach other women these techniques and also generate income from it.