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Food Security: Over 100 farmers benefit from FG’s agro-ecological training in Edo

No fewer than 100 women and youth small-holder farmers benefitted from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security’s environmentally sustainable agro-ecological practices training in Edo.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was carried out under the Agro-Ecology programme in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) on Tuesday.

The three-day training, which began on Monday, March 25, in NIFOR, Benin, is expected to end on Wednesday, March 27.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Agriculture, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, said the training was geared towards supporting small-holder farmers to boost productivity that would guarantee food sufficiency in the country.

The minister, represented by the National Correspondent, Agro-ecology Nigeria, Yerima Saidu, noted that the greater focus of the programme was on women and youths in the South Agro-ecological Zone of Nigeria.

“It is expected that the knowledge gained by the participants will have a trickle-down effect on production practices across the zone.

“This should be evident in the output of food crops in the coming years and in the conservation of our ecology, including soil, vegetation, air, and water bodies.

“It is important to emphasize that at the crux of the agro-ecology programme and practices is the conservation of our natural environment,’’ he said.

According to him, trainees in this programme should apply the skills and practices they have acquired to their everyday agricultural activities to mitigate the negative implications of climate change.

Also speaking, Dr. Isona Gold, the acting executive director and CEO of NIFOR, welcomed participants to the institute.

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Gold, represented by the Director of Extension Services, Dr. Solomon Olusegun, said NIFOR was a research institute established in 1939 with the mandate to research into the genetic improvement of the oil palm, raphia, dates, coconut, and shea trees.

Gold urged the farmers to take advantage of the training to learn how to conserve the environment while performing agricultural activities.

“It is now very important that we take cognizance of the environment and maintain it by adopting best ecological practices for the next generation,” Gold said.

Also, Dr. Solomon Olusegun, the Director of Extension Services at NIFOR, and Mr. Edwin Oko-Oboh took the farmers through an overview of environmentally friendly agro-ecological practices and soil management.

Mrs. Patience Okuahesuyi, the Secretary, Small Scale Women Farmers Organization of Nigeria (SSWFON), Edo chapter, thanked the ministry and NIFOR for the training.

Okuahesuyi promised to step down the training in their various communities. (NAN)

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