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Monday, October 21, 2013

Plateau agribusiness faces overhaul

Anthony Nwakaegho/NaijaAgroNet

The Plateau State agribusiness may face an overhaul due to the visit embarked by the state government officials on study tour of Songhai Farm Centre in Port Novo, Benin Republic through Hadur Travel and Tours.

The Commissioner for Science And Technology, Comfort Piwuna made this disclosure after the study tour to Port Novo and stressed that plans are on for Plateau state to train people on how to use their wastes to generate fuel to obtain fire for cooking and other purposes.

“There are many progressive things to learn. They practise zero emission in waste management and it is very environmentally friendly. Africa is currently suffering from the lack of knowledge in the handling of wastes and it is a big nuisance for us. Maximum usage of agricultural wastes is a big lesson to learn. We are here with local government chairmen and the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs because we want the local governments to understand how to provide massive employments for youths through agribusiness.

“The trained youths can embrace one aspect of agriculture or the other such as snail or mushroom production. This would further improve the economic profile of the state. The good thing is that in Plateau we have very clement weather, so we believe the quality of our mushrooms for example will be better. The governor is already encouraging the youths and people of Plateau in general to embrace agriculture. He has brought an Israeli firm and they are working to transform the agricultural landscape and make it very attractive for investors,” she said.

NaijaAgroNet recorded that what the Israelis are providing is very good but it is for large scale investors and it is very high tech, whereas what is available in Songhai is such that an ordinary farmer with little capital can practise it.

“The plan is that local government chairmen can get youths to receive training using the Songhai model. The trained youths can then be given start up capital. For instance, a person who chooses grass-cutter production can be given enough capital to buy three males and 12 females to start. The local government can then put machinery in place for supervision in collaboration with the ministry of science and technology to ensure it works,” she added.

Songhai is an integrated farm which was set up by a Nigerian reverend father in Benin Republic, Godfery Nzamujo to deploy farming techniques that are suitable for the African business environment as way of getting Africans to create wealth through agriculture using what they have.

Reflecting on the tour, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Paul S. Wai, said that “the techniques at the Songhai Farm are so simple yet effective. It is so down to earth that the local farmer can easily key into it and there is no waste. Even the leaves that fall from the tree is not wasted, the rains that fall from the roof is not wasted, the wastes from the kitchen, toilet are not wasted.”

... Linking agrobiz, people & technology
pix:Gov. David Jang of plateau state

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