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River Basin Authority Trains Over 200 Youths On Integrated Farming

The Cross River Basin Development Authority in Calabar, southern Nigeria has trained over 200 young Nigerians on integrated Farming methods.

The two months training which was recently concluded, was based on different agriculture value chains such as mushroom production, poultry, crop and vegetable farming, food processing, green house technology, fish farming, fertilizer production and irrigation technology.

While giving a remark closing ceremony the Managing Director of the Cross River Basin Development Authority, Bassey Nkposong said the scheme was designed to offer people interested in agriculture a modern approach to food cultivation and production.

Nkposong, who identified integrated farming as the panacea to the rising cost of food prices in Nigeria, urged the participants to heed the Nigerian President Bola Tinubu’s call for a state of emergency in food production.

He said, “I commend the participants for the dedication to the training. These are the first batch of young participants making use of this facility built like what we have in Songhai, Benin Republic.

“Integrated farming is a modern approach that guarantees food security because it allows a person select, which value chain to focus on. Anyone whether a medical doctor or banker can invest in any of the value chains or establish this model on any piece of land,” he explained.

On the benefit of the integrated farming, the Managing Director said, “in this method, nothing is wasted. The water from the fish pond is used for irrigation, the by-product from the poultry farm is converted for use as fertiliser. Besides curving waste, yield is enhanced, there is varieties of produce for subsistence and income earner.

“Most importantly, this would put an end to seasonal farming and promote all year round food production invariably making food affordable,” he stressed.

Also speaking, the Cross River State Commissioner for Crop and Irrigation, Mr. Johnson Ebokpo affirmed the state government’s commitment to support agricultural development.

Nkposong, who identified integrated farming as the panacea to the rising cost of food prices in Nigeria, urged the participants to heed the Nigerian President Bola Tinubu’s call for a state of emergency in food production.

He said, “I commend the participants for the dedication to the training. These are the first batch of young participants making use of this facility built like what we have in Songhai, Benin Republic.

“Integrated farming is a modern approach that guarantees food security because it allows a person select, which value chain to focus on. Anyone whether a medical doctor or banker can invest in any of the value chains or establish this model on any piece of land,” he explained.

On the benefit of the integrated farming, the Managing Director said, “in this method, nothing is wasted. The water from the fish pond is used for irrigation, the by-product from the poultry farm is converted for use as fertiliser. Besides curving waste, yield is enhanced, there is varieties of produce for subsistence and income earner.

“Most importantly, this would put an end to seasonal farming and promote all year round food production invariably making food affordable,” he stressed.

Also speaking, the Cross River State Commissioner for Crop and Irrigation, Mr. Johnson Ebokpo affirmed the state government’s commitment to support agricultural development.

Ebokpo said, “we are glad to have a mini Songhai farm, which has provided a strong platform for the training of these youths. On our part, we are encouraging young people to embrace farming through the “School Farming Project” at the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Cross River State. This will enable us mentor the children to venture into agriculture in the future.”

Similarly, the Commissioner for Land, Mr. Francis Ekpenyong pledge that government would provide land for agricultural purposes to any of the youths determined to establish a farm, noting “the government is keen on agriculture for the youths. With this facility in Calabar, funds spent on training in Benin Republic would be channeled to other areas.

“By training all these students, 210 of them and giving them hope will make them gainfully employed and safeguarding them from harm or criminal activities,” he said.

The Overseeing Director in charge of Agriculture, Mr Ita Arira emphasized that the integrated farming concept was to local farmer imbibe the zero waste practice in modern agriculture, while the Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Jackson John commended the Cross River government for identifying with the authority’s initiative.

He said “with the support of the Cross River State government for the programme, the sustainability of the integrated farming scheme is guaranteed.

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