The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) has trained about 100 young farmers from selected geo-political zones on agricultural value chain development along four major crops.
The 3-day training which ended, yesterday, in Keffi, Nasarawa State, was designed to equip the young farmers with the various steps in adding value to maize, ginger, soya beans and cassava.
The farmers were also trained on Financial Literacy and Financing Options in the Agricultural Chain Management Cycle.
The event, which brought many experts and researchers from the University of Abuja, was declared open by the Acting Executive Secretary, Alhaji Saidu Auakar Madagwa, represented by the Ag. Director, Knowledge Management and Communication, Alhaji Nuhu Yusuf.
In his opening remarks, the executive secretary said the training was designed to create sustainable employment for the unemployed and interested young farmers, thereby reducing reliance on few white collar jobs.
“ARCN is a coordinating body of agricultural research and extension in Nigeria, the training on value chain to farmers is indeed a cardinal
mandate to the council. For us to ensure that there is integrated agricultural research, and for development approach to be articulated, there is need to deepen the knowledge of the key actors along the agriculture value chain- be it rice value chain, ginger, cassava, and all the commodities.
“The actors along the value chain, either a producer who is a farmer, the processor of the cassava, for example, trader of the cassava product, the consumer himself, are all actors of the value chain. So for integrated agriculture research approach which is a global best practice and for Nigeria to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal, especially the first objective which is zero hunger by 2030, the council sees it very pertinent to conduct such training for the key actors to know their role along the value chain.
“And this particular training is not only for them to know their role along the value chain but also to train them on managerial activities and financial management.As you know they are all entrepreneurs on their own right along the value chain,” the executive secretary said.
He enjoined the young farmers to key into the current government’s efforts at diversifying the nation’s economy through the reorganised agricultural sector by participating in the various agricultural programmes of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
He said efforts will be made to extend similar training to other geopolitical zones.
In his remarks, the Managing Consultant of Amzik Integrated Limited, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Zik-Rullahi, who coordinated the event thanked the management of the council for their thoughtfulness in conceiving the laudable idea and challenged the participants to step-down the training and knowledge gained to other farmers in their various localities.