Trainers urge youths to embrace plantain, pineapple farming as goldmines
The National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), on Monday, trained about 45 farmers on the use of modern technologies in the production of plantain and pineapple in Edo State.
The Executive Director of NIHORT, Mr Abayomi Olaniyan, who welcomed the farmers to the training programme in Benin City, said the capacity building was crucial in enhancing productivity.
Olaniyan said the training would help the farmers and stakeholders to incorporate recent scientific advances and technologies into the production of plantain and pineapple.
“Plantain is a unique and important food security crop and an important source of income for smallholder farmers. It is a low-capital agribusiness, comparatively lucrative and adaptable to almost every Nigeria soil.
“The training will expose the participants to how to turn plantain waste into wealth. The stems of plantain are good sources of fibres for industrial ropes, mats and fancy hats, among others.
“The crops are grown throughout the country, making Nigeria the leading plantain and pineapple producer in Africa as well as the seventh country on the world list of pineapple producers,” he said.
Major General Garba Mohammed (rtd), the chairman of governing board of NIHORT, urged the farmers to take the training seriously.
Mohammed said plantain and pineapple were important economic and food security crops capable of generating employment.
On his part, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Richard Edebiri, appreciated the management of NIHORT for bringing the training programme to Edo.
Edebiri who noted that Edo was the largest producer of plantain and pineapple in the country, said that the state government recently partnered the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on the development of 40 varieties of plantain and pineapple suckers for farmers in the state.