Federal government in partnership with Green Agriculture West Africa Limited, (GAWAL), a subsidiary of the Chinese General Construction Company, (CGC), is training 5, 000 women in states across the federation on modern rice technology and other forms of farming.
Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye, said the training is part the drive by federal government to alleviate poverty through food sufficiency and economic empowerment at grassroots level.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the two-day train the trainer Rice Cultivation Technology Training Programme first phase project at the Abuja Industrial Park, yesterday, the minister said her ministry is now employing a bottom top approach in its poverty intervention efforts.
“The Chinese company is giving our women high yield rice variety, they are going straight to the farmland with it for planting.
“These women are totally prepared alongside the pumping machine that we are giving them from the ministry so that they can water their farms and can plant this rice variety four times in a year, this will help us bring out enough food for Nigerians.
“Every stage of this project will be recorded because Nigerians have the right to know what goes on in their country and if we don’t carry them along how will they know that there is hope and that the renewed hope is coming. We wil show Nigerians a stage by stage progress on the project.
“We are going across the who nation and the women are going into various economic activities. When our women and children are busy making money when will they get time to get into unproductive venture,” she askes
Barrister Kennedy-Ohaneye notes that “Seventy percent of the criminals and insecurity challenge we have are due to poverty as a push factor because of idleness but this project will create Jobs for people to do and they will make their own money.
“Remember we now have a portal for this programme and in that portal, the sellers are there, the farmers are there, the manufactures are also there and all others in the marketing chain including the bankers so it will be a communal thing. We are trying to get Nigeria to be a community where all of us are one with a united purpose.
She explained that government is also bringing in innovation in the area of animal farming, specifically cow rearing under the program.
In her words, “We are bringing in the innovation of animals, stocks and cows by giving our famers the high yield breed. Cow rearing that usually takes one and half years before consumption, will now be done in eight months.”
Managing Director Green Agriculture West Africa Limited,( GAWAL), Mr Wang Xiemin, said tasked those trained to pass along what they have learnt to others in there community so that the knowledge will be cascaded untill all fellow women farmers and others are empowered.
“As you leave this training programme armed with knowledge and a renewed sense of purpose, remember that the future if agriculture tests in your hands.
“Your commitment to innovation, resilience in the face of challenges and dedication to sustainable practices, will shape the landscape of agriculture for generations to come,” he said.
One of the beneficiary of the training from Niger state, Abubakar Fatima-Kure, said the training of of great benefit to participating women farmers as it affords them knowledge on the use of modern farm equipment, different pesticides and fertilizers .
She said armed with this training, the trainers will be able to teach other women on “the kind of equipment to be used for different crops and farming, the pesticides to use also and the different fertilizers, how and when it should be used and at what stage it should be applied.”
Beneficiaries received training in latest cultivation technology from land preparation to seed breeding, fertilizer application and various agriculture chains among others.