By Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja
Kogi State Government has solicited the assistance of Synergos Nigeria, an international, a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) in training agricultural extension agents to enable farmers under its Anchor Borrowers Scheme access best agronomic practices.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba made the call at the State Partnership for Agriculture’s Core Delivery Team (CDT) Meeting in Lokoja at weekend .
Oloruntoba explained that one of the reasons agriculture had not been able to fully actualized the economic diversification initiative of the Federal Government was the dearth of extension agents to guide farmers.
“We cannot pretend that all is well here. Our strategic partners should collaborate and spend money on tangible capacity building especially, for our extension workers that would improve the production capacity of farmers.
“We have engaged 4,809 farmers in our anchor Borrowers Scheme for our rice production and they need extension agents to succeed, else, we will not get the desired results.
“Anybody that is coming to partner with us in the state should look at those areas”, he said.
Oloruntoba commended the Synergos’ intervention in the establishment of the Waste-to-wealth project for the conversion of cassava peels to animal feeds, located at Ojapata in Ankpa Local Government Area.
The commissioner said the project was there for all to see and urged Synergos to pick one or more programmes of the state Agricultural Development Project (ADP) and support it for the benefit of the people.
In his response, Mr Victor Adejoh, Synergos Field Manager for Kogi, Benue and Kaduna states said Synergos was collaborating with the state ADP in rice processing using the mills recently procured by the state government.
Adejoh who was represented by Synergos representative in the state, Miss Esther Joshua, hinted that the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had given compliance standards for the mill.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Fadama representative on the CDT, Mrs Lydia Oyewale said cassava production cluster farmers were being sensitised on recycling their farms as part of the 2018 business plan.
She hinted that 55-hectare projection was being for Iresuare cluster cassava farmers while tricycles were being distributed to youths for marketing farmers’ produce.