NIRSAL Trains Farmers on Modern Agricultural practices
The agency also noted that it has empowered farmers and value chain actors to improve the production, processing, marketing, and export of ten agricultural commodities like cotton, ginger, beans among others across the country.
The training, according to NIRSAL, was aimed at achieving the micro and macroeconomic effects of enhancing farmers’ livelihoods and increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In a recent release by the agency, the training sessions which focused on ten Commodities of Interest (COI) with specific ecological and economic advantages in each region took place in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
The commodities were listed to include rice, ginger, maize, fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV), cassava, beans, aquaculture, oil palm, livestock, and cotton.
The statement revealed that the training sessions were held under the NIRSAL Strategic Business Support Services (SBSS) program
The program, NIRSAL identified as a continuation of efforts targeted at achieving a key component of its mandate which is de-risking of the agricultural value chain to encourage more investment in agribusiness by the financial sector.
“The NIRSAL SBSS program identified farmers and value chain actors most in need of training, assessed value chain gaps, designed intervention approaches, and implemented the same; the main approach being a four-week long mentorship program comprising in-class and field sessions.
“The choice of the selected commodities was informed by the NIRSAL Agricultural Commodity Ecological Area (ACEA) map which it developed and obtained validation for from relevant research institutes. NIRSAL Plc believes that ACEA-compliant agricultural investments hold the highest chances for success in terms of production and sale”, the statement read in part.
The release also revealed that the Benue State SBSS focused on Rice, Ginger, and Maize, which are NIRSAL COIs that possess the highest factor productivity in the state.
According to the statement “In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the SBSS trained operators in the FFV Value Chain. The rationale for selecting FFV is hinged on the FCT’s urban consumer market. The training sessions took place in Kuje, Nyanya, Mararaba, Apo, Lugbe, the Municipal, Gwagwalada, Dei-Dei, and Abaji.
“In the South-South, the Rivers State SBSS focused on FFVs as well, in addition to Aquaculture. Stakeholders were trained in Rumuola, Wenpey, Aluu, Enekah, Elekahia, Eleme, Mgbuoba, Elelenwo, Igwuruta, Eliozu, and Rumuodomaya.
“In the South-East, the focus was on the Rice and Cassava Value Chains. Rice, a commodity produced in every Nigerian state, was also under focus in the Rivers State SBSS exercise.
“Typical of States with large urban areas and high volumes of rainfall, another FFVs state is Lagos. Stakeholders were met in the Kosofe – Ikorodu, Iyana – Iba, and the Lekki – Ajah axes. In Ekiti State, across Ado-Ekiti, Orin Ekiti, Ijero, and Ogbese, Maize, Fish, Rice, and Oil Palm stakeholders, respectively, were met.
“The nationwide SBSS exercise continued in the North-East with Adamawa and Taraba States for Integrated Livestock and Beans Value Chain actors, respectively.
“The exercise culminated in Kaduna and Katsina States, both with comparative advantage in the production of high-quality, in-demand Ginger and Cotton, respectively.
“Value chain actors received training on the production and packaging, as well as on the servicing of not only the domestic market but also on ways to take advantage of an export market with huge economic potentials for Nigeria”.