Ogun State Government in collaboration with GIZ, European Union, has embarked on training of youths and women in cultivating tomato, chili pepper and its value-chains.
Flagging-off the training at Eweje Farm Institute, Odeda, Wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun said, the exercise was aimed at empowering 3,000 smallholder farmers, towards increased productivity, such as linkages with inputs, credits, markets, job creation and food security, which was in line with the present administration’s goal on job creation and food sufficiency.
“This event is in tandem with the goal of Agriculture in the State, as it affects job creation, food security and nutrition, as well as industrial linkage. The articles involved in the training which are tomato, pepper, Chilli and others have a unique natural target group of youth, women, rural and smallholder farmers”, she said.
Mrs. Abiodun charged the participants to explore the insights gained at the training, towards best agricultural practices, assuring that government would not relent at empowering youths and women in various agricultural opportunities.
Welcoming guests at the event, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, noted that earlier in the year, Ogun and Lagos States launched Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP), aimed at assisting farmers in cultivating tomato and pepper.
He described the Farm Institute as an ideal training centre where farmers are groomed on modern and mechanised agricultural practices.
He chronicled other feats recorded at the Institute to include, Ogun Broiler Project that empowered 54 youths with 1,000 day-old chicks in three successful cycles, Cassava Revolution Demonstration farms projected to yield 40 to 50 tons per hectare after harvest, aqua-cultural dams, fish ponds among others.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Alhaja Hairat Ogunmoye, lauded the initiative, expressing optimism that each participant will get the best out of the training in tomato and chili pepper cultivation.
She pleaded with government to sustain the training so that more farmers in other parts of the state could equally benefit and become financially stable.