By Lola Omowaye, Deji Ajayi & Ayodeji Musa
As a way of enhancing the well being of Nigerians, the Federal Government through the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA), has distributed high-yielding and disease resistant cassava varieties to farmers.
The Provost of the College, Dr Samson Adeola, made this declaration yesterday at the flag-off ceremony of the distribution of high yielding and disease resistance cassava variety, including vitamin A (yellow) to farmers at the school premises in Akure, the Ondo State capital yesterday.
He stressed that the tri-breed cassava will assist in enhancing the health of the people, adding that it will also add value to cassava business and boost the economy.
The Don reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to use Agriculture as a way of wooing youths to farming and assist small scale farmers and Agro-entrepreneurs.
According to him, “the beneficiaries of the December 2016 Vocational Training in Sustainable Cassava Production techniques are also at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), under the 2016 Federal Government Vocational Training programme. Other beneficiaries of the cassava stems distribution include farmers from the three adopted villages of the college namely Eleyowo, Owode and Ibulesoro; value chain project students of the College and selected commercial farmers in partnership activities with the College.
In his goodwill message, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh represented by the State Coordinator in the Ministry, Dr (Mrs) Funke Omagbemi expressed joy as active farmers on the field are the first beneficiaries, adding that Agriculture is a lucrative business and urged the people to go into farming as a way to salvage the situation in the country.
He charged youths to view the present economic recession as a call to hard work, adding that Agro business is hard work, but highly productive.
His words: “This Vitamin A cassava is expensive and scarce, farmers should not waste it, but plant and re-sell the stems that it can become popular among cassava farmers.
I urge you to take this products and take good care of it, follow the ethics and the method of planting you were trained.”
Appreciating the federal government, on behalf of Owode Community, the Olu of Owode, Oba Samuel Fapohunda thanked the government for ensuring that this kind of opportunity gets to the grassroots while urging the farmers to make good use of the cassava stems as well as the chemicals.
Also speaking with The Hope, Mr Ayo Olagbegi, one of the beneficiaries thanked the government for the stems, saying it is a good development and prayed for increase in food production in the state and the country at large.
Ogbeh stated that the distribution of the cassava varieties would continue in other states including Edo, Delta, Ebonyi and Kaduna.