Saturday, May 21, 2016 5:39 pm
The Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, Ebonyi state, eastern Nigeria, says it has begun the exportation of processed bagged cassava produced by the institution.
The Provost of the college, Prof. Justina Mgbada, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday.
She noted that the institution was committed to actualising the Federal Government’s agricultural objectives.
Mgbada said the institution designated about 30 hectares of land for sustained cassava production to meet the domestic and external processed cassava needs of the country.
“We have expansive cassava processing unit in the institution which has been given immense facelift since I assumed office over a year ago,” she said.
She said that the cassava was being cultivated and processed by students in line with the government’s directive of practicalising agricultural tutorials offered students.
“We have experts who handle the students in cassava cultivation and processing as this applies to the production of other crops and agricultural ventures.
“The institution’s mandate is basically to train middle level manpower through high-skill acquisition in form of theoretical and practical training.
“We have lecturers and instructors for agricultural courses offered in the institution for theoretical and practical training respectively.
“The courses’ curriculum is formulated to assign 40 per cent of scores to theoretical aspect and 60 per cent for practical, both in the class and the farm respectively.
“We also designated 12 hectares of land for increased pineapple production and 27 hectares for oil palm while expanding our fisheries, poultry, piggery and livestock production-capabilities.
“We have also enhanced our capabilities in mini-livestock production such as snail and rabbit among others,” she said.
She said that the institution had enhanced its honey production capacity and secured registration from the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for its honey.
“We recently released N600, 000 for the procurement of modern bakery equipment while also embarking on renovation of the facility.
“The equipment would enable us bake at least three bags of flour per day from the original half bag to meet the demand of students and our immediate community, ” she said.
Mgbada also said that the institution was training rice farmers in Ebonyi as its contribution to the realisation of the state government’s rice production objectives.
“We can assist the government in developing a template and empower its ‘implementors’ through adequate training to achieve overall objectives.
“We will create the necessary awareness needed to achieve this as we are currently making arrangements to procure and develop the most current variety of seedlings being a research institute,” she said.