Participants during the opening ceremony of a five-day training and empowerment programme for farmers in Ife Federal Constituency, Osun State on mechanised cassava and yam businesses put together by Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) in collaboration With Hicoti Consulting Limited, held at at National Museum Hall, Ile-Ife, Osun State,on Monday.
IN order to boost their capacity for optimal production, the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) in collaboration With Hicoti Consulting Limited, on Monday began a five-day training and empowerment programme for farmers in Ife Federal Constituency on mechanised cassava and yam businesses.
According to the project consultant, Dr Yemi Popoola, while speaking during the opening ceremony of the programme held at National Museum Hall, Ile-Ife, Osun State, a total of 102 participants drawn from Ife Federal Constituency would benefit from the programme.
Dr. Popoola appreciated the efforts of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) for its efforts targeted at contributing immensely to the society in area of agricultural empowerment.
He said agriculture was the major foreign exchange earner in the 60s in Nigeria before the discovery of petroleum and advised the participants to take the training very serious.
He also appreciated the organisers of the empowerment programme and highlighted what the participants stand to gain in the areas of modern techniques in the production of cassava and yam, the processing and marketing strategies for improved productivity and income generation.
He asked the participants to feel free to express their thoughts and seek clarification where necessary throughout the programme.
In his welcome address, Chairman, Hicoti Consulting Limited, Mr. Tokunbo Ayekoti, welcomed the participants and expressed gratitude to the Federal Government of Nigeria through NAQS for the poverty alleviation programme for the people of Ife.
While justifying the reason for the concentration on cassava and yam value Chains, Ayekoti noted that Ife indigenes are predominantly farmers and cassava and yam farming are their major crops found and planted in the community, hence there was the need for training of the farmers on modern techniques in production, processing and marketing.
In his welcome address, member representing Ife Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Taofeek Ajilesoro, while appreciating the efforts of NAQS for bringing the empowerment programme to the people of hisconstituency encouraged the participants to make proper use of the opportunity given to them.
While giving his opening remarks, Comptroller-General, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe, who was represented at the event, welcomed the participants and gave brief introduction about the mandate of the organisation in facilitating agricultural export to meet international standards.
Two of the participants represented others, they summarised their expectations for the programme and gave Kudos to the organisers.