Synergos Partners Kogi Farmers for Innovative Agric

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SYNERGOS, a global non-governmental organization, said it is committed to assisting farmers in Kogi State set a template to move themselves from subsistence agriculture to commercial ventures.

The Country Director of the organization, Mr. Adewale Ajadi, gave the assurance in Lokoja recently. At the instance of Synergos, different farmers’ associations, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (and its allied agencies) and civil society organizations brainstormed on the need for massive cassava and rice production, processing, packaging and marketing.

Ajadi, who said Kogi, Benue and Kaduna are model states where Synergos seeks partnership for rice and cassava production, however, bemoaned lack of formidable agric policies in many states.

He pledged that Synergos would collaborate with individuals, the private sector and governments to enable farmers improve their capacities and get good yields.

He said that through capacity-building, there would be a proto-type intervention for cassava production, processing, packaging and marketing.

The Country Director disclosed that although Brazil could process about 300 by-products of cassava, Nigeria had yet to get up to 50.

He maintained that, ‘‘we don’t have experts to process cassava to standard requirements for export’’ because the packaging would be muddled up with different varieties.

Earlier, the Kogi State Team Leader of Synergos, Mr. Victor Adejoh, had explained that Synergos is a non-profit organization that fights poverty and its effects.

He added that ‘‘the on-going conversation is meant to look critically at cassava and rice production by engaging all stakeholders to promote massive production of the crops.’’

While Engr. Sam Ochai of Kogi Agricultural Development Project observed that cassava farmers in the state could not get markets for their produce, the Community Development Officer of Fadama 111 Project, Mr. Emmanuel Idenyi, said there was need to sensitize farmers on how to convert cassava peels into animal feeds.

The Special Adviser to the State Governor on Agriculture, Mr. David Apeh, advocated credit facilities for farmers at one-digit interest rate.

Credit: The Graphic

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