Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
The Country Director of Synergos Nigeria, which is a global non-profit organisation, Mr. Oluwale Ajadi, has said the organisation is set to train about 1,000 facilitators to assist rural farmers transit from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.
The Country Director made this known in Lokoja at a meeting of Synergos team with stakeholders from the agriculture ministry, Fadama office, Agriculture Development Project (ADP), state chamber of commerce and industries and farmer associations from across the state.
According to him, with the Agriculture Change Agenda of the federal government, the dwindling resources from oil and the resultant revenue gap, the country was now forced to reconsider agriculture as a viable revenue generating alternative adding that there was need to revamp agriculture for it to operate from a business perspective away from the subsistence level the rural farmers were used to.
Ajadi said that Synergos, a global non-profit organisation, was working in Kogi, Benue and Kaduna states to fight poverty and its effects with special intervention in cassava and rice production.
The Country Director said the programme had assisted farmers in Tanzania to maximise their production by training farmers on active involvement in the entire value chain from planting, growing, processing and marketing of both cash and food crops.
He noted that the organisation would establish two Prototype Processing Projects in each of the three states to process cassava peels into livestock feeds and as well synergise with governments to solve issues of marketing of farm produce to curtail glut.
Also speaking at the event, the acting Commissioner for Agriculture and Special Adviser to the state governor on Agriculture, Mr. David Apeh commended Synergos for the initiative, adding that there was renewed interest among the people, for agriculture.
Pledging government’s support, he said: “This is one area we can solve problem of youth unemployment and curtail rural-urban drift. There is very high level of seriousness on the part of the people in agriculture.”
The Director-General (DG), Kogi State Bureau for Public Private Partnerships (PPP), Mr. Roberts Achanya urged Synergos to involve the state Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture in the synergy for renaissance in the agricultural sector.
The Programme Manager of the Synergos in the state, Mr. Victor Adejoh, in his opening remarks, said the organisation was going to adopt the bottom-top approach in the development of programmes to assist farmers.
“We are going to build the capacity of young people and few older people as facilitators to be able to work with their communities and farmers’ cooperatives to develop problem solving skills”, he added.