Ondo State last week played host to other cocoa producing states in Nigeria in a week-long workshop on the theme “Training the Trainers” designed to teach farmers on the need to embrace best agricultural practices with a view to ensuring food security in the country.
Speaking at the five-day training programme held at Zion Gate Hotel Akure, Ondo State capital, the National Coordinator for SOCODEVI Nigeria, a Canadian NGO, Mr.NejiAbah, said the training workshop was in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and World Cocoa Foundation.
According to him, the aim and objective of training the farmers is for them to adopt best practices in agriculture as a way of having quality farm produce.
Abah said: “The purpose of this workshop is to impact knowledge so that the trainers who are being trained would go back and train the farmers at the grassroots. This is to ensure that the farmer adopt best practices of agriculture and to eradicate deficiencies in the system.
“The vision of Cocoa Transformation Agenda is what brought about this workshop. The Minister of Agriculture, Dr.AkinwumiAdesina, wants farmers’ capacity to be strengthened in terms of “cooperative management, farmer physical that is, best practices and farmer business school that is, taking farming as business. These are the core objective of this five-day workshop.
“Participants are drawn from 10 Cocoa producing States to start with, you know we have about 16 cocoa producing states in Nigeria but for this phase the Federal Ministry of Agric, deemed it necessary that we should start with 10 states. “Initially, we started from 5 states but now we have made it 10 and the subsequent shall include all other states,” he said.
Abah said the Federal Government partnered the World Cocoa Foundation based in Washington to ensure that Nigerian farmers are not left out in the modern trend of farming, stressing that the Federal Government paid 70 percent of 1.5 million Dollars and the World Cocoa Foundation would paid 30 per cent to see that they benefit maximally from the three-way approach of the workshop.
He charged the participants to take the training seriously, saying that it was an opportunity for them to improve themselves and to pass on the knowledge to other for holistic transformation of agricultural sector in Nigeria.