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ARMTI advocates enforcement of agribusiness in academic activities




The Acting Director of Agricultural Rural and Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Ilorin Mr Anthony Njoku has suggested the inclusion of agribusiness in the teaching modules of faculties of agriculture in all the nation’s relevant academic institutions.

Njoku, yesterday at the ‘Training of Trainers for Facilitators of Value Chain Development’ organised by the institute for participants from 24 states of the federation, believed that until agriculture became a lucrative endeavour, many Nigerians would be dissuaded from engaging in it.

The ARMTI boss during the event held at the institute boasted of the capacity of Nigerians to use agriculture as a substitute for petroleum towards a boost in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but with a caveat that a conducive environment be created and relevant enactment put in place to aid agricultural practices.
Besides, at another forum, a training workshop for farmers (Men, Women and Youth) in all the Local Government Areas of Kwara and Kogi states, Njoku said the event when concluded would impact in the trainees modern skills on agricultural produce management and marketing.

He said, “Nigerian farmers should utilise well the opportunities that have come their ways at present to start the dictation of the pace of the nation’s economy after the sharp fall in the prices of the global oil. It is our turn to boast in agricultural sector now because the era of oil boom is gone. In fact, in Nigeria today, if you are not in agricultural sector, one can cautiously say that you are out of business.

“However, we need to make the agricultural produce marketable, know what to plant, when to plant and the quantity to plant. Even, right now, we need to make agribusiness a compulsory course of studies in all the nation’s tertiary institutions to drive home the message as expected. Besides, laws should be made in favour of agricultural practices in the country.”

Lauding the Federal Government for sustaining such programmes as; ADP and FADAMA, encouraged participants at the events to embrace commercial farming and open up more farm lands in rural areas, noting, “agriculture is not in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) but various communities we live in.”

He added, “agriculture becomes a business when all stakeholders in the sector relate, trust and depend on each other to maximise profits. Unity along the different commodity Value Chains in Nigeria in agriculture will ultimately contribute immensely to peace, inclusive development and good governance.”

For Njoku, the Training of Trainers (TOT) for Value Chain Development (VCD) facilitators is one of the capacity building projects appropriated for ARMTI in Capital Budget by government. It is running for the fourth year yesterday with 24 participants from 24 states in all the geo-political zones of the country. Between 2013 and 2015, 90 participants were trained.

He said ARMTI also wished to be at the forefront of driving a paradigm shift that would place the women and youth in their rightful place in the schemes of things in agriculture in Nigeria.

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