IFAD-VCDP trains rural farmers in Enugu State 

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), trains rural farmers in Enugu state on best agricultural practices.

The one- day training with the theme “Train of Trainers (ToT) was a Pre-Season training for farmers, processors and extension agents (EAs) to prepare them for the 2024 wet season farming.

Declaring the training open, the State Programme Coordinator, Dr Edward Isiwu, said the training was aimed at educating them on general accepted practice of farming to improve and increase their farm yield.

He said that the training would also enhance farmers opportunities to go into the Agro business and better their lives.

While encouraging the participants to brace up the challenges ahead, Isiwu called for evaluation of their activities during the last season.

According to him, the training became important since they grow only two commodities namely rice and cassava and it will help them know when to grow them, apply fertilizers and harvest them.

The coordinator also emphasized the need for farmers to understand smart weather predictions, which he said, would give them more knowledge on Weather Smart Agriculture.

“There are certain things farmers need to know within this period, before the rain and after the rain.

“If the predictions are that there are going to be much rain this season, farmers need to take precautionary measures for bountiful harvest,” he said.

Isiwu said the training would also offer farmers opportunity to share their experiences with 2023 farming season to ascertain the impacts it had created in their lives.

He added that there would be a step down training in the five Council Areas of Aninri, Enugu East, Isi Uzo, Nkanu East and Udenu.

Presenting an overview of the 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction, a
Meteorologist, Dr James Ijampy, urged the participants to understand the weather before going into farm.

He stressed that every crop had its season which if planted at wrong time would lead to poor harvest and loss of revenue.

Ijampy, represented by Mrs Chizaram Adedoyin, however, said that weather calendar was what every farmer should have and follow appropriately.

“It is a tool that supports farmers in taking appropriate decisions on crops and their sowing period, taking note of the agro-ecological dimension,” he said.

The State Agricultural Production Officer, Mr Emmanuel Agbo, also urged the farmers to imbibe the good agronomic practices VCDP had adopted for high yields.

“Farmers should equally pick their inputs during distribution and use them as expected.”

He went further to outline the activities carried out during the 2023 farm season starting from the Pre-Season training to post harvest activities including ascertaining of Crop Area Yield Survey (CAYS).

A beneficiary and a Rice Off-taker, Mrs Lovelyn Ejim, reiterated the need for farmers to fulfill their own aspect of bargain by making sure that the Paddy rice was available for them to off-take.

NAN / Foluke Ibitomi

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