Tuesday, September 24, 2019 6:59 am
No fewer than 45 farmers have been trained on the use of modern technology in the production of plantain and pineapple in Edo State.
The Excutive Director of the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Mr. Abayomi Olaniyan, which conducted the training on Monday, said it was crucial in enhancing productivity.
He said the training would help the farmers and stakeholders to incorporate recent scientific advances and technology into the production of plantain and pineapple.
According to him, “Plantain is a unique and important food security crop and an important source of income for small-holder farmers.
“Plantain ia a low capital agribusiness, comparatively lucrative and adaptable to almost every Nigerian soil.
“The training will expose the participants to how to turn plantain waste into wealth, the stems of plantain are good source of fibres for industrial ropes, mats ànd fancy hats, among others.
“The crops are grown throughout the country, making Nigeria the leading plantain and pineapple producer in Africa, as well as the seventh country on the world list of pineapple producers.”
Olaniy noted that increased production could help to ensure food security and job creation and launch the country on the path of self-sufficiency.
He explained that it was important to create awareness among stakeholders and deliberately cultivate a widespread attitude of employing improved production techniques in the production of the crops.
In his speech, the Chairman, Governing Board of NIHORT, Maj.-Gen. Garba Mohammed (Rtd.), said plantain and pineapple are important economic and food security crops that is capable of generating employment.
He said the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari has encouraged numerous capacity-building ventures, for better performance in various commodity value-chain.
On his part, the Edo State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Richard Edebiri, disclosed that the State Government recently partnered the lnternational Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on the development of 40 varieties of plantain and pineapple suckers for farmers in the State.
He urged participants to take advantage of the new method of multipling plantain and pineapple suckers for increased productivity.