The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan has embarked on Kenaf seed distribution to farmers in Ekiti State.
A representative of the Executive Director of IAR&T, Dr. Dotun Ogunniyan who led the seed distribution team of the institute while speaking during the distribution stated that the programme which was organized by the institute was part of the ongoing initiatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development aimed at supporting the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.
Ogunniyan further said that in an attempt to promote production of Kenaf as raw materials for the packaging industries in Nigeria and other countries in Africa, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development( FMARD), Abuja is collaborating with the institute for the development and dissemination of appropriate Production, Processing and utilization technologies for crops across Nigeria.
He added that, “The FMARD has mandated that the seed be given to farmers free of any charges.
Ogunniyan also affirmed that the institute was prepared to provide technical supports to the farmers on the production and also buy back the seeds.
He said, “Kenaf is a multipurpose crop with numerous potentials that can be used to reposition the economy of Nigeria through its diverse uses. Bast and core fibres of the crop have been identified as a promising fibre source in the paper, building, automobile, pharmaceuticals and numerous food and feed industries. It has been used to improve the economy of farmers in some developed and developing countries including USA, Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, and Malaysia.
“IAR&T has the national mandate on integrated improvement of the genetic and agronomic potentials of the crop, as well as techniques for processing the produce into raw materials for onward transformation, value addition and utilization for food, feed, clothing and shelter.
Representative of Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Mr. Oladele Yakubu admonished the farmers to take good care of the Kenaf plants while on the field as he congratulate the first set of farmers that took part in the scheme.
He also expressed profound appreciation to IAR&T management for selecting Ekiti State for the pilot scheme.
Our correspondent gathered that the seed distribution exercise which took place at the Ado Local Government hall was rounded off by a lecture on Kenaf Production, management and utilization which was delivered by Dr. Olubunmi Aluko of IAR&T.