The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has begun a two-day training for smallholder sugarcane farmers in North-East, North-West on seed cane production.
Declaring the training open on Tuesday in Kano, the Minister, Malam Mahmud Abubakar, said that access to quality seed canes had become a challenge in the country, leading to low yield.
The minister, represented by the Desk Officer, Sugarcane Value Chain, Sama’Ila Shiko, said the training would go a long way in boosting the production of the raw material for sugar production in the country.
He said that the farmers were drawn from Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi Katsina, Zamfara, Adamawa, Gombe and Taraba States.
He said that the capacity building of smallholder sugarcane farmers in community-based seed cane production was crucial to boosting the yield.
The minister further said that the training was part of the strategies to build the capacity of small-holder sugarcane farmers through the sugarcane value chain.
According to him, the training will improve sugarcane production technologies and marketing of seed cane with a view to establishing linkages within the sub-sector and provide support to the farmers to further enhance their farming business.
“The training is crucial as it will no doubt strengthen your ability to produce sugarcane at a scale that can potentially help the country close the deficit in both domestic sugarcane and sugar production,” he said.
He said that after the training, the farmers would be given a set of input package, including 10kg certified seedcane, 2 litres each of Liquid Organic Fertilizer, Herbicides and Insecticides as part of the renewed support by the ministry.
Abubakar restated the Federal Government’s commitment to supporting the agricultural sector, in order to realise its potentials of driving an inclusive economic growth, achieving food and nutrition security as well as creating job opportunities for the unemployed.
In a remark, the Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Kano, Alhaji Abba Yamani, urged the participants to utilise the experience they acquired from the training to improve their production.
Yamani also urged them to share the knowledge with other farmers.
Some of the participants, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), thanked the ministry for the training and promised to step down the knowledge to others.(NAN)