By Usman Aliyu
Ilorin, Nov. 24, 2020 Kwara Government has promised to encourage commercial farming in the state through provision of farming equipment and inputs to assist genuine farmers in advancing their productivity, profitability and competitiveness.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muritala Olarewaju, made the pledge on Tuesday in Ilorin while declaring open a capacity building programme for youths corps members.
The training on post harvest handling and value addition of agricultural commodities was organised by the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI).
Olarewaju said the State Government was repositioning the agricultural sector from being a mass social service to a profitable agro-business, aimed at providing technical and environment-friendly agriculture practice.
According to him, efficient post-harvest handling will enhance increase in food availability by avoiding wastage of agricultural produce.
He also said that it would improve the supply and distribution of quality food to feed members of the growing society.
The commissioner enjoined stakeholders in agricultural value chain to join hands with the state government to take the agricultural sub-sector in the state to an enviable height.
Earlier, the Executive Director, NSPRI, Dr Patricia Pessu, said the event was organised to encourage self reliance, self employment and ensure productivity for youths, most especially graduates and corps members.
Pessu explained that the programme was designed to expose the beneficiaries to opportunities in the post-harvest value chain and also motivate them.
“Successful trainees will be empowered with the sum of N2 million at the end of the service year,” she said.
Also speaking, the NYSC State Coordinator, Mrs Francisca Olaleye, represented by Mr Ifeolu Oketade, commended the agency for the opportunity given to the corps members, and assured that the beneficiaries would justify the gesture.
By Usman Aliyu