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CATAS boosts farmers capacity on cassava, pepper cultivation

Towards increasing the revenue base of farmers and achieve the country’s diversification dream, the China Academy of Tropical Agriculture Sciences (CATAS), in collaboration with Green Agriculture West Africa Nigeria Limited (GAWAL) held a training course on cassava processing and pepper cultivation technology, with 100 participants from different agencies and organisations.
Deputy General Manager of GAWAL, Professor Xu Yuanfang, said its company has made significant contribution to Nigeria’s agriculture sector in the last three years, notimng that six different training programmes-biogas projects, fish cage culture projects, and the Chinese Embassy agricultural technology training programme, have been organised for the country’s agric technicians.

Yuanfang added that the training was aimed at promoting the sector, in order to enhance the income level of farmers, and raise the level of food security in Nigeria.

In his submission, Deputy Director of International Operations, CATAS, Professor Liu Haiqing disclosed that the Academy has signed 16 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with different institutions in African countries. “The MOUs cover cooperative research and development on key issues in tropical agriculture, focus on the prevention and control of cassava mosaic, new varieties breeding, and localised cultivation of important tropical crops (cashew nuts, oil palm, coffee, cocoa) to boost agricultural development in Africa.”

Haiqing stressed that “CATAS has rich experiences in holding international training, and great attention has been paid to cassava, coconut, banana, tropical vegetables, and beverage crops introduction, pest control, product processing technology amongst others.”

Another keynote speaker from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Paschal Chibuzo said the training is timely, considering the present administration’s call for everyone to engage in agriculture. He urged participants to extend the knowledge to all Nigerians.

In the same vein, the Chairman Governing Council, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Rt. Hon. Babangida Nguroje, shed more light on the need for the training in agriculture. While thanking the Chinese Academy for training Nigerians, especially youths and women, he expressed hope that participants will “take full advantage of this rare opportunity to contribute to the growth and development of the country through agriculture.”

He admitted that the NIPC has the vast responsibility to stabilise the economy, improve growth and development by attracting beneficial investment, improve revenue, and create wealth for all citizens.

Source: The Guardian

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