Bayer Nigeria Limited — a German agrochemical company, has trained 350 youths in Akwa Ibom State on agricultural involvement and start-up support for agribusiness and farming.
The training, in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Trade and Investment and Bennycom Agro and Farm Nigeria Limited, which drew participants across the 31 Local Councils, is part of the Ibom3000 project, meant to improve capacities of youth in the state in diverse vocational, technical, entrepreneurial and managerial skills in Oil and Gas, Agribusiness, ICT and SMEs to enable them secure gainful employment.
From the total of 3,000 beneficiaries of the initiative, 350 youths were identified to engage in agribusiness were trained by Bayer, in a weeklong training schedule before engagement and support, with start-up capital for their choice agribusiness or farm.
During the training conducted by Bayer’s Field Solutions Manager, Ahmed Bello, with the topic: “Crop Protection In Farming; What Edge Does It Offer,” Bello touched the area of pest and weed infestation and their effect on farming; control methods and their effectiveness; integrated pest management system; and use of crop protection products against weed and pests, among others.
An Agric Development Consultant and Managing Director of Benny Fruits and Vegetables Nigeria Limited, Mr. Brezhnev Langwa, said the location of the state in the rainforest region is a blessing, considering all the vital fundamentals it provides, which makes the state capable of farming all year round.
“From experience I have gathered over the years cultivating vegetables in this State, I can say authoritatively that all the fundamentals of vegetable production are available in relatively good condition here, including the soil, water, topography, weather and all others. We can plant all year round unlike some parts of the country whose crop production is regulated by rainfall.
He said the Bayer Nigeria agrochemicals are more reliable as compared to Nigeria chemical companies because of their consistency, adding that it is as well, famous even in the pharmaceutical world. “Bayer as an input company is in a ‘better position’ to train the farmers.
One of the beneficiaries, Mfoniso Udofa, a 25-year-old graduate of Akwa-Ibom State University, a smallholder farmer, who is into the cultivation of cucumber for the past five years, has been using a traditional method of hoes to make ridges, limiting her working strength.
She said the training showed her how to improve her farm produce in every aspect, particularly, the right use of insecticides. “They gave us ridges to plant, showed us how to plant, how to apply manure and leave it for 4-5 days before we can plant, I didn’t know all these before.