The Edo State Government has commenced capacity training for 112 farmers, as part of measures to sustain investment in the state’s agriculture sector, ensure food sufficiency, drive job creation and improve livelihoods in a post-coronavirus (COVID-19) economy.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Programme, Hon. Joe Okojie, said the training will provide the required skill-set for the farmers in anticipation of a successful farming season.
He said among the farmers being trained are catfish farmers from Uteh, Teboga, Eyokoyin and the Libya returnees fish clusters.
He noted that capacity training will enable the farmers complement the state government’s food security programme in the post-COVID-19 era, noting, “The state government is putting mechanism in place to boost food production by giving out loans with at a low interest rate of 5 percent so that farmers can be encouraged to increase production.”
According to him, the state government is also providing farmers with access to market, as the farmers are being aggregated into clusters and sensitized on good agronomical practices, noting, “We are aggregating 112 farmers who will plant maize at Obayantor. In addition, we are prepared to give them loans. We are also giving each of them 3 hectares of farmland in Obayantor. We are educating them on the rules to get the loans.”
The President of Eyokoyin Catfish Farmers Association, Mr. Courage Eguabor, expressed appreciation to the state government for the training, adding, “We are very happy to be beneficiaries of this laudable training. We know it will help us increase food production and also maximize profit.
The President of the United Returnee Foundation, Mr. Chukwuemeka Charles Asiegbu, said they are pleased that the state government is teaching youths how to be independent and manage resources.