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39m seedlings’ll boost output to 800,000mt –Adesina

Sun News - October 20, 2014

The Minister of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has said that the ministry distrib­uted 39 million seedlings of hy­brid cocoa seedlings to farmers, enough to plant an additional 40,000 hectares of new cocoa plantation.

He said this would boost co­coa output from 350,000MT to 800,000MT by 2016.

The Minister who was repre­sented by Director of Extension in the ministry, Mr. Eniaiyeju, in Abuja at the 2014 World Food Day Agricultural Extensions with the theme, “Family Farm­ing, Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth,” noted that the theme was aimed at heighten­ing the role of family farming in achieving food security as well as signifying the contribution of the small scale farmers.

According to him, the min­istry is addressing the issue of aging farmers facing the coun­try through the establishment of youth empowerment in ag­riculture programme with the goal of developing 750,000 new cadres of young commercial farmers and agribusiness en­trepreneurs over the next five years.

He added that the ministry was also developing staple crop processing zones aimed at at­tracting private sector invest­ment into the sector.

Earlier, the representative of Food and Agricultural Organ­isation (FAO) in Nigeria, Dr. Louise Setshwaelo, noted that family farming and the sup­port it receives needs to adjust in ways that can respond to the changing conditions.

To make this happen, she said innovation was the key. “Family farming needs to inno­vate in the system they use, gov­ernments need to innovate in the specific policies they imple­ment to support family farm­ing, producers’ organisations need to innovate to respond bet­ter to the needs of family farm­ers and research and extension institutions need to innovate by shifting from a research-driven process, predominantly based on technology transfer to an approach that enables and rewards innovation by family farmers themselves.”

 

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