The combined efforts of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and all Farmers Association of Nigeria have trained 850 farmers on yam seed multiplication in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State.
While launching the session, the Trade Promotion Advisor for NEPC, Dr. Emmanuel Etim, said the programme was framed to broaden the farmers’ horizon and equip them with tactical skills and knowledge required to plant and harvest internationally acceptable crops for export.
In his remarks: “With the skills acquired from new technology, farmers in the state have been equipped with the ability to meet whatever standard is expected of them at the international market and that will be a source of revenue for them and boost the country’s foreign earning.
“With these number of farmers, Nigerian yams will soon flood the international market and our people will reap the benefit of farming by earning, other than, merely celebrating yams and harvesting yams just to meet their family food needs and the local consumption market,” he added.
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Peter Egba enthused that the scheme was worthwhile, as it further re-positioned the state which has always championed innovative practices in the agricultural sector.
Egba said, “You can access loans with this knowledge and increase your farm size and also transfer the skills acquired to other members of your communities so that everyone will become financially buoyant.”
Similarly, the Seed Production Officer for IITA, Mr. Azeez Oyeyemi noted that the institute has been in existence for five decades and has been consistent with yam, cassava, plantain and banana multiplication research as a pathway in boosting food production in Nigeria