The Federal Government in conjunction with the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has started the training of 250 farmers in Niger in cassava and rice entrepreneurship.
The State Programme Coordinator (SPC) of IFAD-VCDP, Dr Mathew Ahmed made this known at the opening of one of the entrepreneurship workshops in Minna on Friday, adding that the aim of the workshops was to enable those trained to train other farmers in the state.
“If you must do well in agri-business, you must utilise this training and step it down to other members of your group who are not here today. If you don’t make good use of your entrepreneurship skills, you may be producing at a loss,’’ he said.
Disclosing that the 250 beneficiary farmers were producers, processors and marketers in the rice and cassava value chains, Ahmed said that 50 beneficiaries were selected from each of the five participating local government areas, including Kontagora, Bida, Katcha, Shiroro and Wushishi.
Represented by the state Rural Institution, Gender and Youth Mainstreaming Officer, Hajiya Maimuna Abubakar, he said that the training was handled in three groups.
Lead Consultant, Learning Gate, Abuja, Ms Ajuma Ataguba said that agriculture was a serious business, hence the need to develop entrepreneurial skills for smallholder farmers across the country.
She urged the country’s farmers to be business-minded in their approach to farming, rather than engaging in subsistence farming.
Also speaking, the Secretary of Bangi Multi-purpose Cooperative Society, Malam Danjuma Mohammed commended government for the training, adding that it would enhance their income, urging the beneficiaries to replicate the training for other members of their groups.