FMARD Trains Kwara cashew farmers on Better Practices

FMARD Trains Kwara cashew farmers on Better Practices

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Tuesday organised training on better practices for stakeholders in the Kwara State cashew sub-sector.

This is coming on the heels of a similar training organised in Edo State, last week.

The previous session was facilitated with a focus on all post-harvest activities including harvesting, drying, bagging, storage, and marketing.

According to the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, the training was organised to provide a platform to discuss issues within the industry as well as ways to surmount them.

Umakhihe, who was represented by a Deputy Director, Mr Bernard Ukattah, noted that the dearth of processing facilities for the commodity was a salient issue that needs to be addressed.

Also, he stressed the need to improve the sector’s funding by attracting private investments outside the government’s budgetary allocation for cashew.

“Out of the 170,000 mt of cashew nuts produced in Nigeria, only five per cent is processed, while raw cashew nuts are sold to cashew buying agents for export.

“The cashew apple is eaten raw and the rest wasted because of inadequate facilities to processing other cashew derivatives e.

g.

cashew juice, jam, ice cream etc.

This means exporting Nigerian jobs to other countries and this must stop.

“The only way to stop this is increasing the processing capacity of Nigeria cashew industry and harnessing capacities of other cashew derivatives sub-sector.

This has the capacity of creating about 500,000 jobs for our youth and women in both rural and urban centres,” he said.

The permanent secretary, however, noted that funding of agriculture should not be left for the government alone.

Other key players and government representatives present noted that the training session was a timely one, saying it would help drive the industry forward.

On his part, the Kwara State Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Aliu Kabir, said the summit was positioned to expose the stakeholders to ways of harnessing the potentials in the cashew industry as an alternative to oil.

Similarly, a senior lecturer from Kabba College of Agriculture, Dr Omolola Etukudo, said the training would expose the stakeholders to the benefits derivable from the sector, adding that it would expand their capacity to add value to the sector.

On sectorial funding and youth participation, she said, “We will also drive them on how to seek for loans to improve on their investments because I will be speaking on ‘Financing the Development of Cashew value chain and its economic relevance on the Non-oil sector’.

“This will create employment opportunities for the youths to address the problem of relativeness in the society.


 
source agronigeria
FMARD Trains Kwara cashew farmers on Better Practices

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