To boost the production of Cassava, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has commenced the training of 75 Women on Cassava Production and Processing, under its Youth and Women Agribusiness Investment Programme.
The women, drawn from 11 states –– Abia, Anambra, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ogun and Osun –– are on a two-week intensive residential training at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State.
Speaking at the opening session MOUAU VC, Prof. Francis Otunta, represented by his deputy (Academic) Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, said with over 34 million metric tones of cassava yearly, Nigeria is the current world largest producer of cassava.
In an address, read by the Ministry’s South East Regional Director, Mr Nnamdi Ibezim, the Permanent Secretary, said the training and empowerment initiative planned for Youths on various Cassava Production and Processing, will stimulate increase in local production, reduce imports, conserve foreign exchange and harness national resource potentials, while achieving policy objectives in the immediate and long term.
He noted that the training would be a participatory type, with 65 per cent practical session and only 35 per cent theory, which according to him, will enhance comprehension, quick understanding and retention of key production concepts and hopefully facilitate speedy and effective establishment of private cassava processing enterprises in the trainees localities.”
Hassan noted that at the end of the training, each participant would be given a starter pack comprising cassava stems, fertilizers, (Urea and N.P.K.), herbicide, manual cassava peeler and stainless steel frying pan to boost cassava processing.