Centre trains 60 women on agro-processing skills in Ilorin
The Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM) has trained 60 farmers drawn across the 36 states of the federation on the use of agro-processing machines.
The Acting Director of the Ilorin-based NCAM, Dr Yomi Kasali, while welcoming the participants to the institute, said the importance of agro-processing should not be the exclusive reserve of the male farmers especially under the economic crunch the nation is passing through.
Besides, Kasali said the a two-week intensive training would enable the trainees to impact the skills so acquired in women of like-minds in their states just as he disclosed that the training would bridge the gap between the employed and unemployed youths and women in Nigeria.
The training bankrolled by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture will improve the skills of the trainees in operations and maintenance of agro-processing machines for cassava flour, palm oil, melon shelling and fishery.
Two weeks ago, another 60 Nigerian fabricators were trained at NCAM on how to fabricate and impact similar skills in others, relevant agricultural tools and machines to end drudgery.
The NCAM boss said: “The training is in line with the government policy of training youths and women in order to create jobs for them, thus reducing the unemployment rate in the country, and creating a better social economy for these categories of people.
“This training is therefore, aimed at improving your skills specifically on the use, operations and maintenance of agro processing machines in order to acquire adequate knowledge that could add value to primary agricultural production and also disseminate same to other women in your area for increase agricultural productivity.”
Noting that agriculture is an engine for growth and a catalyst for poverty reduction in any human society and a thrust for industrial revolution, Kasali regretted the under-performing of the sector in many nations of the world of which Nigeria is one.
He added that women make essential contributions to agriculture and rural economy with, “over 90 per cent of them work in the sector as farmers, processors and marketers. They produce livestock, food and cash crops, at subsistence and commercial levels.”
Quoting a recent statistics of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Director said, “base on a recent internationally comparable data, women comprise an average of 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force of developing countries.