No fewer than 21 small-scale farmers in Enugu State have been trained on agribusiness sustenance by the Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Executive Manager of the company, Mr Vincent Nnadi, disclosed this during the graduation of the farmers in Enugu at the weekend. Nnadi said that the programme was part of the corporate social responsibilities of the company on food security and attainment of the relevant Sustenance Development Goals (SDGs).
Giving reasons for the sponsorship of the training, he said: “A well developed food chain is essential for the development and success of the Nigerian agribusiness sector.
“Lack of agricultural storage facilities and poor knowledge have made farming in Nigeria a less attractive venture for the small holder farmers. Hence, Total and its partners intervened in creating awareness and increasing capacity on the value addition that these farmers could leverage on to make a success of their farming business.”
Nnadi, who was represented on the occasion by the Head, CSR Partnership, Mrs Delight Sunday-Anecho, explained that the company was consistently committed to giving back to the communities through human, social and economic development.He said the programme was implemented in all states of the federation irrespective of whether or not they were oil-producing.
Nnadi, who encouraged the trainees to apply the knowledge they had got, said that small scale farmers are key to achieving food sufficiency.“Plant for subsistence and become a giant if you apply the knowledge you have got here because the ground is full of money. You are the key in the food chain and as young, proud farmers, I expect you to make the difference,” he added.
The majority of trainees are young graduates below 30 years. They were trained in technical business operations, processing and packaging, branding/marketing, the use of ICT in agribusiness and leadership skills.
Responding, a representative of the trainees, Mr Romanus Eze, thanked the companies for the kind gesture. Eze described the programme as the right move towards food security in the country. He added that if certain impediments were not sorted out, the journey to food security would be difficult.He said that the issue of land tenure system, improved seedlings and fertiliser were still major challenges in the South East.