Alhaji Jamiu Lawal, chairman, Complit Agro-Products Group, made this known while inaugurating the one day training in Minna.
“In this exercise, we are targeting 500 unemployed youths with 500 hectares of land.
“We have acquired 250 hectares of land at Gidankwano and making arrangements for another 2, 000 hectares somewhere,” he said.
Lawal said that the five years programme would increase the number of youths annually by 500 youths till when it would windup.
He said that the training would expose the trainees to soybeans cultivation and marketing.
The Group’s Chairman said that the measure would bring together stakeholders such as the farmers, banks and off-takers (marketers) to develop the sector.
“We want to help the farmers to access loans after the training.
“We are looking at a loan of N75 million for the 500 trainess for a start.
“When you break it down, it will amount to loan of N150, 000 per hectare of land,” he said.
He said that the loan would not come to the farmers in form of cash to avoid spending the money on other things.
“The money will come in form of farm inputs and implements to enable us achieve the desired goals,” he said.
He said that the programme was targeting production of 1, 500 tons of soybeans per annum valued at N180 million.
Lawal said that soybeans was an important cash crop with high demand by many local industries in Nigeria, which was not enough as the demand was being met by importation.
” Nigeria’s annual local demand for soybeans is estimated at 2.5 million tons valued at N250 billion.
“While our local production (supply) stood at 500, 000 tons leaving the gap of 2 million tons valued at N200 billion,” he said.
Similarly, Malam Abdul Ahmed, Director, Agriculture Services and Linkages at the state’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that government would do everything possible to support the programme.
“It is a laudable initiative, we will support our youths to be meaningfully engaged,” he said.
Ahmed advised the organiser to ensure that large expanse of land was acquired at a place to enable the youths work together and for easy identification and assistance.
Mr Adebisi Odeyemi, a consultant and resource person, said that soybeans is a leguminous vegetable of pea family, which originated from South Asia.
Odeyemi said that soybeans consisted of over 36 per cent protein, 30 per cent carbohydrate, dietary fiber, vitamin and minerals.
He said that it is an important crop for production of edible oil while the cake was important in the formulation of animal feed.
Also, Malam Garba Mohammed, a participant, told the News Agency of Nigeria that he did not know about the the importance of soybeans until the training.
Mohammed said that he intended to pass the knowledge to his wife towards expanding his farm in future.
River basin to create farm settlement in Auchi for food sufficiency
“Songhai farming is the best model of farming and I urge many Nigerians to embrace the model of agriculture from Auchi experience,” he said.
YIIFSWA, IITA sensitise 50 Edo yam farmers on new technology
The Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA ll) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on Friday held a sensitisation forum on Aerophonics system of seed yam production for 50 yam farmers in Edo.
Mrs Perpetual Isiahon, Head of YIIFSWA, said that the programme was initiated to set a new tone for yam value chain in the state.
“Our task at this forum is to access the economic benefits of yam value chain, while using it as an initiative for the attainment of food security in Edo.
“The purpose of this forum is to sensitise participants on new technologies in producing seed yam and developing a better understanding of existing methods.
“It is also to expose participants to different products they can get from yam for income generation through its value chain,” she said.
Isiahon urged yam farmers in the state to key into the project and invest more on yam value chain for wealth creation.
She also called on the state government to assist in establishing new seed yam production companies in the state.
She said that a budget for yam in Edo would also encourage the production of yam.
In a speech, the Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Mr Felix Akhabue, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Joe Edionwe, said that Nigeria had a high demand for yam as a staple food.
Edionwe regretted that yam production in Nigeria was not enough to meet the growing local and export demands, hence the need for new technologies in seed yam multiplication and production.
He said that the realisation of the goal would, no doubt, facilitate wealth creation and empowerment in the yam value chain.
Akhabue pledged government’s support to collaborate with critical stakeholders to ensure that yam farmers and Edo people benefited immensely from the project.
Mr Wellington Omoragbon, state Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), commended the initiative and urged the farmers to take the message to their communities.
Omoragbon said the one-day advocacy and sensitisation forum, tagged “Sustainable production of high quality seed yam for wealth creation and empowerment”, was organised by IITA, in collaboration with Root and Tuber Division of FMARD.
1,300 rice farmers receive input for dry season farming in Delta–RIFAN
Mr Anthony Umunna, Delta Chairman, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) said that no fewer than 1,300 registered members of the association in the state have received inputs for dry season farming.
Umunna said though members received the inputs; paddy rice, herbicides, water pumps among others for the year’s dry season farming, they might not be able to plant until about September ending when the rains would have subsided.
He said that there was need for a review of the farming calendar between the northern and southern parts of Nigeria to enable timely release of inputs to farmers because of the difference in weather conditions.
According to Umunna, the quest for the release of the inputs have been on since to enable farmers in the south engage in this year’s dry season farming.
“As at today, 1,300 registered rice farmers in Delta have received paddy rice, herbicides, and water pumping machines among other inputs for 2019 dry season farming.
“In spite of our efforts, the inputs came late and as our farmers will have to wait till the end of September for the rains to subside before planting.
“This is why we are appealing to government for timely release of the inputs to enable our farmers work with the seasonal timetable and key into the dry season farming and that of the wet seasons farming appropriately,’’ he said.
He appealed to the farmers not to lose their patience as everything possible was being done by the association to ensure that all registered rice farmers benefited from the CBN-RIFAN Anchor Borrowers Scheme aimed at boosting rice production in Nigeria.
He also called on all the South-South governors to support the programme and ensure that farmers in the area got full benefits, adding that the programme would not only create jobs but also boost the economy and create wealth.
NAN reports that the programme is part of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme in Partnership with RIFAN to boost rice production in the country.
Foundation lists how youths can explore goldmine in agriculture
By Cecilia Ijuo