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FG trains coconut farmers on processing, packaging in Edo

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) on Tuesday trained coconut farmers in Edo on coconut value addition, packaging and quality control.

Dr Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary, FMARD, while declaring the capacity building open in Benin, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was committed to providing support for farmers in the rural areas.

Umakhihe, who was represented by Mr Chukwuemeka Ukattah, Deputy Director, FMARD, said the effort was to attain food security, self-sufficiency and improve the livelihood of coconut farmers and processors.

He said; “The government through the ministry decided to create awareness and improve the technical know-how of farmers on the value addition.

“Through packaging and quality control, to ensure our products meet international markets standard and demands.

“This capacity building is a key element in the strategies aimed at ensuring that coconut farmers and processors do not just adopt good agricultural practices but to ensure their final products are of good standard that will meet global competitiveness.”

According to him, efforts are being made to provide small scale processing equipment within the ministry’s budgetary allocation.

Dr Celestine Ikuenobe, the Executive Director of the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), urged the farmers to take advantage of the workshop to earn better income.

“You are going to benefit from the work we have already done here. The knowledge we have, we will share it with you.

“We have biochemistry laboratory where we carry out research and display what we produce. Where there are questions and doubt, seek clarifications,” he said.

The National President of the National Coconut Producers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN), Mma Okoroji, thanked the ministry and the management of NIFOR for their support.

(NAN)

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