Farmers in Oyo state last Thursday received Kenaf seeds from the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T).
Other farmers are from Ogun and Osun States.
At the empowerment programme which held on IAR&T premises, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, tagged: Farmers’ Empowerment for Kenaf Seed Production, targeted at the South-West region of the country. The Director, IAR&T, Professor James Adediran, said the programme was put together as 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.
He further noted that:”It is the intention of the government to facilitate sustainable growth through diversification of the economy. The agricultural sector has been identified as being of enormous potential in this regard and available indices from the National Bureau od Statistics (NBS) on our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has shown encouraging response and contribution from agriculture.”
Adediran also pointed out that in an attempt to promote the production of Kenaf as raw materials for the packaging industries in Nigeria and possibly other countries in Africa, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is collaborating with IAR&T on the development and dissemination of appropriate production, processing and utilization technologies for crop across Nigeria.
In his remark, the Regional Coordinator, South-West, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Adeniyi Ogunwale, informed that the Federal Government has laid the burden of fixing the economy on some key sectors of the economy which agriculture is one of them.
He stated that a framework is already in place in the ministry which had improved Kenaf production in the country with much emphasis on quality control and value addition. “Government is also creating enabling environment for Kenaf production through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,” he said.
The National Secretary, Kenaf Production, Processing and Marketing Association of Nigeria (KEPPMAN), Apostle Kunle Amosu, while addressing farmers during the distribution ceremony told them that they should try as much as possible to jettison the idea of manual farming stressing that in this age and time, mechanised farming is the way to go.