Syngeta Begins Training Of Extension Agents

BY VICTORIA ODIA/JOSHUA ERUBAMI
IN tandem with Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa’s SMART agenda of restructuring, transforming and overhauling the Agricultural sector, the ad-hoc committee on Job Creation has kicked off the training of trainers’ workshop for rice and tomatoes farmers in the state.
While explaining the imperative of the training as a direct strategy towards actualising the desire of the current administration to reduce unemployment in the state, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Austin Chikezie, said the gesture would go a long way in re-awakening the interest of farmers in achieving the much expected results of rural wealth creation as well as increased food production in the state.
At the event held at the Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) Training Hall, Ibusa, Oshimili North Local Government Area, the commissioner commended the administrative wisdom of the Ad-Hoc committee for synergising with the ministry to organise the training which, he believed, would enlighten and equip rice and tomatoes farmers with the techniques of modern technology and agricultural best practices for greater productivity.
To this end, Chikezie recounted, the job creation committee entered a collaborative working arrangement with Syngenta Nigeria Limited, an internationally reputable agribusiness company, to train the 18 selected agricultural extension agents on how to improve productivity of the duo crops across the three Senatorial districts of the state.
He applauded the company for providing the resource persons, agro-chemicals and seeds for demonstration on a quarter of an hectare on selected farmers’ farms at no cost to either the farmer or the state.
‘’The company would provide the overall leadership for the project, guide the implementation and provide technical direction while the state government would only bear the associated cost of logistics for the trainees and explore ways of using the programme to scale up and assist rice and tomatoes farmers in the state to access the company’s seeds and agro chemicals”, he said.
On his part, the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr Kingsley Emu, who doubles as the Chairman, Ad-Hoc Committee on Job Creation, averred that agriculture may not contribute more to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state than the oil and gas sector, but it is a better strategy of creating jobs for the teeming population. He enjoined the participants to utilise the opportunity by actively participating in the training course and to make appropriate choices that could bring about positive changes and prosperity for all Deltans.
Earlier, the state ADP Programme Manager. Mr. Oritse Chris hinted that the training, which he adjudged as timely, underscored the need for capacity building in every facet of agricultural value chain development. He, therefore, charged the participants to look beyond the interim benefits that are derivable from the exercise and to see it as an opportunity to use the knowledge required to promote a healthy and sustainable increase in agricultural production in the state.