The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat has organised a one-day training on the production of plantain and banana for farmers in the territory.
The training was aimed at empowering youths and rural farmers.
Declaring the training open, the director, Agric Services, Dr. Nkem Mkpume, who was represented by Mr. Daniel Ekele, a deputy director in the department, encouraged all participants to take the training seriously as it was aimed at empowering them.
She said plantain and banana grew well in Abuja due to a conducive weather.
She reiterated that there was huge market for banana and plantain, stressing that the FCT Administration under Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello and minister of state, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has a robust policy on land acquisition for agricultural purposes and a well-developed youth empowerment policy through agriculture and agro business.
The resource person, Olawiwo Lateef, said the objective of the training was to provide information on pertinent propagation techniques to improve plantain and banana productivity.
He said the propagation of the two plants was done with extreme difficulty as a result of their peculiarities. The techniques, he said, though simple, were limited by low multiplication rates and propensity of disseminating pests and diseases.
This, he said, was due to the technique of using suckers directly detached from the mother plant.
He further said the propagation techniques of banana and plantain suckers, otherwise known as sprouts were detached from the mother plants and used as planting materials in the field.
The participants were drawn from the Kwali Area Council and its environs; and many of them expressed satisfaction with the programme.
They also expressed willingness to engage in plantain and banana production as a way of earning a living through agriculture.