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By Stephen Adeleye.
The Kogi Agricultural Development Project (ADP) says it has embarked on an intensive training for registered Cassava, Cashew and Maize farmers from March 22 to 31, with the theme: “Best Practices in Agriculture”.
The Managing Director of the ADP, Mr Oyisi Okatahi, told journalists at the training venue on Saturday in Lokoja, that the training would cut across the six zonal offices of the agency in the state: Aiyetoro-Gbede, Anyigba, Kotonkarfe, Aloma, Osara and Ageva.
He said that the training was part of the agency’s efforts to ensure that farmers in Kogi adopt global best practices, that would enhance yield, production and processing.
Okatahi added that the farmers needed to pay attention to some key areas such as: getting the right inputs in terms of seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, soil tests among others.
According to Okatahi, there are many adulterated inputs in the market and it is important to source genuine inputs.
“Farmers must also follow the season calendar in applying the various methodologies such as planting, weeding and fertilizing at the right way and time.
“Most farmers do not maximize yield when they fail to follow proven methodologies. Mechanization and technology should be applied as much as possible; for instance, farmers can form a cooperative and lease a tractor.
“Another key area is for farmers to go beyond farming and look at processing or value addition, such as converting cassava to starch, or flour, chips, among others.
“Farmers must also have the right attitude and be prayerful; once you have done your part, then ask God to bless your efforts,” Okatahi said.
He commended the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, for his commitment towards making Kogi the agricultural hub of Nigeria, saying he has encouraged farmers to see agriculture as a business and no longer subsistence farming.
He commended the Director of Agric Extension, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Karima Babangida for funding the training sessions, adding that the support and diligence had enabled them to progress significantly in agricultural extension in Kogi.
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