By Tony Adibe
The Federal Government through the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Food Security has trained no fewer than 50 Enugu farmers on improved cassava stem variety cultivation and its pest control.
The one-day capacity training for farmers was carried out in Owo community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State on Saturday. Addressing the farmers in a demonstration farm in Owo community, a Director in the Federal Ministry Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Andrew Edike, advised farmers to adopt good agronomy practices in the cultivation of improved varieties of cassava stems.
According to Edike, this is to guarantee more yield per hectare and rugged cassava produce for value addition in Enugu State. He maintained that the Federal Government was determined towards developing the capacity of youths and women as they embark on commercial agriculture.
“The beneficiaries of this capacity building will be provided with extension services to guide them in the cultivation of the current cassava stem, made available, for improved yield and value derivation,” he said.
A resource person at the training, Mrs Emelda Akpan, who educated the participants on the new method of planting cassava, pest, and disease control, described cassava as an important and profitable crop for farmers. Akpan advised farmers in the area to embrace improved varieties of cassava stems as they had enormous benefits and gave more yield per hectare.
The program Manager, Enugu State Agricultural Development Program ENADEP, Dr Ogbonna Onyeishi who commended the Enugu State Government for their support to farmers in the state observed that cassava production in the Country was low and required good agronomic practices for high yield.
Some of the beneficiaries including the Traditional Ruler of Ohani Amechidodo, Igwe Hycienth Edeani, thanked the ministry for the training, adding: “This training remains an eye opener for me and my subjects”.
A cassava farmer in the community, Mr Ikechukwu Mbah, appreciated the Federal Government and the ministry for the highly valued training meant to turn their fortune around as they engage in commercial cassava cultivation. The high points of the training included: distribution of bundles of improved cassava stems to farmers as well as extensive practical demonstration of planting methods of improved cassava variety and best way to control pest control.