By Fatima Muraina
No fewer than 80 farmers in Ondo state have benefited from the Federal Government’s training on all-season tomato production for youths and women in the South East, South South and South West of the country.
Declaring the training open in Akure, the state Coordinator of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sufficiency, Mr Hakeem Ogundeko said the training was aimed at equipping farmers with adequate knowledge on improved methods of farming.
Ogundeko said it was initiated to ensure that farmers have improved yield for better remuneration and food security.
While calling on participants to make judicious use of the knowledge gained at the training, Ogundeko disclosed that more incentives like fertilizers and chemicals would also be supplied to the farmers in due course.
” We are trying to organise them in different cooperatives, we ask them to list their needs which are being compiled and would be attended to soonest,” he said.
In his welcome address, the state Project Manager of Agricultural Development Agency (ADP), Mr Babasola Adeniyan said the training was organised by the federal government in collaboration with the state.
It was also to build the capacity of farmers who are expected to train others on modern ways of tomato production.
The Resource Person, Mr. Ademola Olatunji observed that farmers have been doing things in the wrong way which he said was responsible for not getting the required maximum yield for profitability.
His words: “We have educated them on the time to operate, to start, planting distance, how to combat diseases and pest challenges on the field and the application of fertilizer, it’s quality, types and at what stage to plant”.
The state Chairman of Tomato Growers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, Prince Adeniyi Oluwalanu applauded the federal and state government for the training, appealed for more regular trainings which he said would help in sustaining their farms.
A supervisor from the department of Agric extension of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Usman Mamman, applauded the farmers for conducting themselves properly, which he observed, showed their level of readiness to do the needful.