Agribusiness: PIND, BASICS-II And KOLPING Trains 61 Commercial Seed Entrepreneurs In Niger Delta

In Breaking News, Business & Economy

By Gabriel Ewepu, Vanguard News Nigeria

Food production and productivity of farmers have given concern to well-meaning development partners as Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), in collaboration with Building an Economically Sustainable, Integrated Cassava Seed System, phase 2 (BASICS-II) project, Wednesday, commenced training of 61 Commercial Seed Entrepreneurs (CSEs), drawn from the nine Niger Delta oil-producing States.

This was made known by Project Manager and Advocacy Lead at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Mr. Godwin Atser, which according to Atser, the training taking place in Abia State serves as rare opportunity to help tackle food insecurity in the region.

He added that the training is meant to create sustainable jobs, create wealth, tackle food insecurity, and restore agriculture as an economic lifeline for the region.

He also noted and commended the three organisations, PIND, BASICS-II, and KOLPING for pulling resources together to conduct the training for the benefit of farmers.

However, he (Atser) acknowledged and said the training addressed the constraints that hinder the transformation of cassava in Africa.

Benefiting trainees were pulled out from Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, and Rivers States respectively, and basically, the training came during the rainy season when farmers prepare their farms ready for cultivation of cassava amid rising demand for the commodity including planting materials.

The two-day training covered the following areas: Cassava Seed System and Digital Agriculture – use of IITA Herbicides Calculator; the six steps to Weed Management and Best Practices; Cassava Pest and Disease Identification and Management; National Agricultural Seed Council, NASC, Seed Quality Protocol; Herbicide Use and Safety; the Business of Cassava Seeds; Record keeping and Financials; and Implementation Planning.

Resource persons for the training came from NASC, IITA, and the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike.

Meanwhile, the Head of the KOLPING Society of Nigeria, KSN, Sir Blaise Okezie, lauded the training, stressing that KSN was excited to contribute to the development of the Niger Delta region.

The trainees also commended organizers for coming up with such capacity building program and described it as impactful.

Ndudim Ikelua said, “It was a nice outing for the organizers and participants who availed themselves. Indeed, commercial cassava will provide the leverage that will address the unemployment of our youth, women, and men in our states and provide food security in our country.”

Dr. Ugborugbo Umuvwie said, “Great training in content and delivery. Well appreciated and many thanks.”

Over the years, farmers who have had similar training and applied the principles and knowledge acquired boosted their productivity with high yields in cassava and maize productions.

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