Abakaliki – At a time many Nigerians are seeking to improve the capacity to play in agricultural value chain, Caring Heart Foundation has trained of over 50 farmers in Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo Federal Constituency, Eboyin State, on horticulture value chain.

The farmers were drawn from various communities that make up Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State.

The training, which was sponsored by Chief Linus Abaa Okorie, the member representing Ohaozara,Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, was conducted in partnership with the National Horticulture Research Institute, Idi-Ishin, Jericho, Ibadan, and Piusity Global Resources Limited.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony, which held at Uburu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of the state, Okorie, who was represented at the event by his Senior Legislative aide, Chief Wilson Okereke, said that the training was one of the series of trainings the lawmaker has given his people, adding that the exercise was in line with the Federal Government emphasis on revolutionizing agriculture as the mainstay of the nation’s economy.

Speaking also at the event, Dr. Abayomi Olaniyan, the acting executive director of the National Horticulture Research Institute, Ibadan, said the training would cover production practices, value addition processes (Telfaria, Irvingia and Occium) and the economics of production.

He added: “To avoid the pitfalls of the past, It is important to create awareness among stakeholders and deliberately cultivate a widespread attitude of employing improved production techniques and adding value to horticulture commodities in order to promote broad varieties of product, storability, wider usage and applications, enhanced returns to investment and export competitiveness.”

Speaking further, he noted that horticulture is one of the most viable and sustainable sources of household income, employment generation, enhancement of gross domestic product and government revenue and urged the participants to pay attention to all the sessions in order to make the best use of the opportunity.

DAILY INDEPENDENT reports that the House of Representatives member, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, also trained over 50 other of his constituents on cashew production and processing last week.

The training, which was tagged Training on Cashew Processing Opportunities, attracted resource persons from National Cocoa Seed Gardens Project (CRIN), Ibadan, and other agro Institutions.

Okorie said that the objective of the training was to expose young farmers in the constituency to the business opportunities in cashew production and processing.

Represented at the closing ceremony of the programme by his legislative aide Comrade, Nnamdi Ogbonnayaonu, Okorie noted that he embarked on the training to raise the much-needed manpower for the development of cashew plantations in the constituency.

Okorie charged the participants to deploy the knowledge they had garnered effectively to enable them to develop their own agro business.

A research scientist from Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Dr. Dele Adeniyi. commended the lawmaker for strengthening cashew value chain promotion through the training, pointing out that it would further place Ebonyi State as a net producer of cashew in Nigeria.

One of the participants, Reverend Sunday Nwane, noted that the programme had afforded him the opportunity to know the economic benefits in cashew but identified lack of capital as a challenge towards developing a plantation.

Source: independent.ng