Addax trains youths on cassava production
AS part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Addax Petroleum Nigeria Ltd, recently partnered the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, Abia State to train about 32 youths on cassava production.
The youths made up of 17 males and 15 female were drawn from the petroleum company’s host communities in Akwa Ibom, Imo and Rivers states.
Addressing the youths during their graduation having been trained for two weeks, the Company’s Community Relations Manager Emeka Obi said the programme was Addax’s way of giving back to its host communities.
Besides, he charged the graduands to put into practice the knowledge acquired during the training to become not only self-employed but employers of labour.
He said the decision to embark on the training was informed by the enormous potentials in Cassava farming, which he said could bring about abundant harvest for the youths, if well harnessed.
“ We saw the many things to be done with cassava and we want to be relevant in the environment where we operate”.
The training, which was coordinated by Dr. Mrs. Tessy Madu of the NRCRI, had three main objectives namely: training farmers on improved methods of cassava production to increase yield, build the capacity of the farmers to start, manage and own Agro commercial business and supply the farmers some improved, high-yielding, disease resistant cassava stems.
The Training modules included site selection, land preparation, preparation of planting materials and cassava planting methods, management of cassava farm-weed control methods, fertilizer application and harvesting of cassava roots, soil erosion and improvement/conservation practices, value addition to cassava, processing of root crops, farm product keeping/accounting, herbicide and pesticide application demonstration among others.
At the end of the training, some farm Inputs were given to the farmers such as fertilizers, Cassava Stems and herbicides.
Representative of the NRCRI Dr. Anthony Ano commended the graduates for taking the training seriously and graduating timely pledging that the Institute would remain disposed to giving them access to its facilities.
Dr. Madu thanked Addax for making all the provisions that facilitated the successful completion of the training available “ the company made us to achieve our mission and its vision for corporate social responsibility.
The graduates acknowledged that the training has impacted positively on them and would assist them become entrepreneurs.
In their joint written response signed by Comfort Jille for Rivers, Cornelius Enwere for Imo state and Ini Asukwo for Akwa Ibom state, the trainees said. “ We came here as Larvaes and now going back as butterflies with full potential to explore the agricultural world.
“ We have more knowledge and ideas about high yielding and disease resistant varieties of root and tuber crops like orange-fresh, Sweet Potato, Vitamin A Yellow Root Cassava as well as food processing, packaging and marketing.
“ We call on other corporate bodies and well meaning individuals to emulate Addax in this pragmatic and life changing initiative and we pray for its sustenance in order to benefit more farmers”.