The Ogun State Government in conjunction with GIZ and European Union is training 3,000 women and youths in tomato and chilli pepper production.
This was disclosed by the wife of the state governor, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, at the flag-off of the empowerment programme tagged tomato and chilli pepper (TOMAPEP) value chains, held on Wednesday, at Eweje Farm Institute, in Odeda.
Mrs Abiodun noted that the exercise was aimed at empowering 3,000 smallholder farmers towards increased productivity, like linkages with inputs, credits, markets, job creation and food security.
She added that the training was in tandem with the present administration’s goal geared towards job creation and food sufficiency through agriculture saying, the categories of stakeholders from the largest part of food security actors had attracted the attention of local, national and international agencies responsible for agricultural support.
“This event is in tandem with the goal of agriculture in the state as it affects job creation, Food Security and Nutrition and Industrial linkage. The articles involved in the training which are tomato, pepper, chilli and garment/leader have a unique natural target group of youth, women and rural/smallholder farmers”, she said.
The governor’s wife charged the participants to explore the insights gained at the training towards best agricultural practices, assuring that the state government would not relent at empowering youths and women in various agricultural opportunities.
“I wish to admonish participants to consider themselves as important pilots that will receive first-hand information and support that will determine how other registered participants embrace this opportunity.
“Ogun State Government will continue to prioritise support to youths and women in commodities and trade that naturally endows them to succeed. I urge you to fully explore the training institute, event in other areas aside tomato and pepper which include Cassava demonstration farms, aquaculture facilities and others.”, she said.
Welcoming guests at the event, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, noted that earlier in the year, Ogun and Lagos States launched Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP), aimed at assisting farmers in cultivating tomato and pepper.
He described the farm institute as an ideal training centre where farmers are groomed on good modern and mechanised agricultural practices.
Speaking on behalf of the participants, Alhaja Hairat Ogunmoye, lauded the initiative, expressing optimism that each participant will get the best out of the training in tomato and chilli pepper cultivation.
She pleaded with the state government to sustain the training exercise so that more farmers in other parts of the state could equally benefit and become financially stable.