ARMTI canvasses inclusion of smallholder farmers in export
The Executive Director of the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Dr Olufemi Oladunni, has declared that if the full benefits of the agriculture sector would be reaped, leading to effective diversification of the economy, the smallholder farmers and rural agro producers need to be empowered and enabled to scale up their productivity to attain exportation status.
Speaking during a three-day agro-produce exportation summit organised by ARMTI in Abuja from recently, Oladunni declared that smallholder farmers formed the greatest bulk of agro producers in Nigeria, and operating below optimum capacity would perpetually limit the potential of Nigeria as a whole.
The summit, which was themed ‘Smallholders and Rural Agro Producers’ Inclusion in Exportation,’ gathered major stakeholders in the agro exportation sub-sector chains and focused on identifying the major challenges facing the players while seeking practical, workable and sustainable solutions to the challenges.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Umar, who declared the summit open, commended ARMTI for its constant proactive roles and being a key player in the sector. He challenged the participants at the summit to take up the challenges of synergising and collaborating towards overcoming the obstacles facing the sector so that Nigeria could take its rightful place in the global scheme of things and farmers could begin to take advantage of the international market for their produce and for wealth creation.
Umar expressed that the ministry would be looking forward to receiving the communique that would be issued at the end of the programme for appropriate action.