Kwale (Delta), April 8, 2019 The National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), on Monday commenced the training of 120 youths and women on Mushroom and Ginger value chain in Delta.
Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, the Executive Director, NIHORT at the training and empowerment in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta, said that Mushroom and Ginger cultivation and processing could create jobs and earn the country foreign exchange.
It was targeted at empowering 120 youths and women drawn from Ndokwa East, Ndokwa West and Ukwuani LGAs under the constituency.
Olaniyan said that NIHORT had the mandate to conduct research into generic improvement, production, processing, utilisation and marketing of fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants and spices including mushrooms and gingers.
According to him, mushroom is one of the important food items which plays significant role in human health, nutrition and good source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
“Mushroom cultivation can help reduce vulnerability to poverty and strengthen livelihood; it is a veritable cash crop with potential promise to generate foreign exchange.
“Ginger on the other hand, is one of the commercial crops produced in Nigeria that can serve as the major source of income to the country.
“The Nigeria’s ginger varieties are acclaimed to be of superior quality and outstanding flavour and a product of preference in international market and it can be processed into ginger powder, oil and oleoresin and so on,” he said.
He encouraged the participants to take the training seriously as it had the power to change their livelihood and create wealth for the nation.
Retired Major-Gen. Garna Mohammed, the Chairman, NIHORT Governing Board, represented by Chief Matthew Ehgie, a board member, lauded NIHORT for engaging on the Mushroom and Ginger employment and economic empowerment training.
He said that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was committed to capacity building as an avenue for tackling unemployment, huger, insecurity and poverty.
He enjoined the trainees to make best use of the opportunities by paying special attention to the training.
The sponsor of the training programme, Ossai, represented by his Special Assistance on Strategy and Media, Mr Chibuzor Okereke said that he would remain committed to giving effective representation to his constituency.
He recalled that more than 400 persons were trained in 2018 on plantain and pineapple value chain in the constituency, adding that no fewer than 120 persons would benefit in the current programme.
According to Ossai, a mechanism has been put in place to monitor and track beneficiaries of the empowerment programmes with the aim of addressing their challenges and giving support to make them successful.
Dr Lawrence Olajide-Taiwo, a resource person said that the trainees would be empowered with each giving a starter pact to start off after the three days training.
One of the participants, Mr Charles Chukwudi, an unemployed graduate thanked the organisers of the programme, while expressing hope that the programme would have positive impact on their lives.