Ibusa, DeltaState (NAN) The Delta government has commenced training of 40 extension workers and farmers to improve rice and tomatoes production.
The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture Natural Resources, Mr Austin Chikezie, said this while opening the training on Wednesday at Ibusa in Delta.
Chikezie said that the training was part of the state government’s agriculture reform programmes.
He added that it was a train the trainers workshop organised by the state government in collaboration with Syngenat Nigeria Limited.
Participants were drawn from across the three senatorial districts of the state, he added.
The commissioner said the training had become necessary in order to bridge the human capacity and knowledge gap in the agriculture ministry.
He said this would enable the ministry to deliver on the state government’s agenda of boosting food production and creating jobs.
Chikezie said that the state government aimed at developing agriculture as means of rural wealth creation and improved food production.
He added that “at my maiden meeting with my directors, I was informed that there are serious knowledge and capacity gaps, especially in the extension delivery system.
“And I was requested to address the problem to help redress the situation.
“The timing for this training is auspicious and puts the ministry on favourable starting point in implementing the agricultural aspects of the government set agenda.’’
Dr Kingsley Emu, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Chairman, Job Creation Committee, said the state was focusing on agriculture to create jobs and produce food for the people.
Emu noted that the state would adopt best practices, large-scale production and mechanisation to attract youths into farming.
According to him, the essence of the train the trainers programme is to equip farmers with the requisite knowledge to increase productivity in the sector.
Olawale Ojo, the Demand Promoter, Syngeneta, who was a resource person, said that the only way agriculture would succeed was when those trained passed the training to other farmers.
He said that his company had presence in about 17 states in Nigeria, adding that the target was to empower 15,000 farmers in each state.
Ojo said that Syngeneta had ventured into rice, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and cabbage cultivation, adding that they helped farmers to turn their farms into businesses.
Earlier in a welcome address, Mr Chris Oritse, the Programme Manager, ADP, lauded the state government and syngeneta for addressing the capacity gap by organising the workshop.
He assure that the participants would step the training down to more farmers.
Oritse urged the beneficiaries to look beyond the immediate benefits but see it as an opportunity to use knowledge acquired to sustain agricultural productions.