..Partners A’Ibom State Gov’t to Train Farmers on Smart Farming
Ndifreke Enefiok, Uyo.
Agribusiness Enterprise Development Program, AEDP have raised the bar in agriculture and food sufficiency drive by partnering with the Akwa Ibom State government to train budding entrepreneurs/farmers on smart farming.
AEDP in partnership with the state government through the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday, 2nd November kicked off a one-week training tagged ”SMART FARMING, PRECISION, AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE”; for farmers drawn from the 31 local government areas of the state.
The opening ceremony/flag-off which was held at the AEDP office, 1 Enen Afaha Street, Uyo had the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Mrs Glory Edet and a cross-section of Directors from the Ministry in attendance.
In his address, the Program Director, Mr Ekanikpong Ben extended a heart of appreciation to the state government for approving the training program which according to him, will serve as a platform for participants to enhance their knowledge and technical capacity to meet production and market demands.
Offering more insights on the training, AEDP Director revealed that the training will cover areas such as improved crop, livestock and fish production management, agribusiness development and technology application in agriculture; maintaining that participants will be taken through a whole knowledge drill on agribusiness opportunities, insights on agribusiness financing, agribusiness planning, certification, developed managerial capabilities, credit and market linkages, technical backstopping among others.
Also, Mr Ben reiterated that the ”mission of the program is to create jobs, increase competitiveness, and promote sustainable and inclusive growth through acceleration of agribusiness training programmes with technology integration for the transformation of agricultural sector in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria.”
Flagging off the training, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Edet hinted that the training which is in tandem with the Agricultural Programs/Projects of the state Governor Mr Udom Emmanuel, is to improve the knowledge, skill and capacity of farmers to enhance productivity, profitability and sustainability.
Dr. Edet further stressed that the vision of Mr Emmanuel is to eliminate hunger in the state through an agricultural sector that drives income growth. Adding that, it also ”seeks to accelerate the achievement of food and nutritional security, generate employment and transform the state into a leading player in food markets to grow wealth for our farmers.”
Continuing, the Agriculture boss disclosed that the AEDP training is borne out of the passion to give adequate training to farmers to help increase productivity as well as the establishment of Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZs), in the state.
While calling on the participants to make ample opportunity out of the training, she maintained that the administration of Mr Emmanuel is poised on creating avenues to support/strengthen smallholder farmers on areas such as; marketing and other agricultural best practices that will guarantee minimum price for food crops.
Meanwhile, the flag-off was crowned with a tour round the AEDP facility by the Commissioner and her entourage.