A total of 168 farmers in Oyo state have benefited from an agricultural training and empowerment programme on dry season farming.
The training programme, which is aimed at ensuring an all-year-round farming activity among the farmers, was organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with the Agriculture and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Ilorin, in collaboration with Magic Touch Business Solution Limited.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the programme in Igboho, the ARMTI executive director, Dr. Olufemi Oladunni, said that the programme is a testimony that the federal government is committed to achieving food security and economic diversification for the nation.
Dr. Oladunni, who described the programme as “a critical step in addressing the problem of climate change, seasonal rainfall and their consequent effect on farming and food production”, said that farmers in the country face a myriad of challenges in their agricultural practice
“With the quality and quantity of arable land that is available in this nation, there is no reason why profitable and buoyant agriculture should not be practised all year round. Success of this programme would go a long way in curbing seasonal price fluctuations and move us closer towards food security in the country”, he said.
ARMTI boss said that the farmers were trained on creating and running viable groups, adding that they also received empowerment items as water pumps and accessories for irrigation farming to ensure sustainability, improved yield and better coordination of efforts which, he said, would lead to better returns and food security.
Also speaking, a member of the consulting firm, Professor Lawal Mohammed, said that seasonal farming which Nigerian farmers had long practised had done little or nothing in ensuring food security in the country.
He also said that a need to try improved techniques in farming had come with increase in population and present technological advancement.
In his remarks at the event, the Onigboho of Igboho land, Oba John Oyetola Bolarinwa II, who was represented by the Iyalode of Igboholand, Chief (Mrs.) G.L. Babalola, thanked the organizers and lauded the choice of Igboho for the programme.
The traditional ruler, who called for increased number of beneficiaries in subsequent trainings, also called for more women representations in future.