The Edo Food and Agricultural Cluster (EdoFAC) in collaboration with Thrive Agric and Market Development in the Niger-Delta (MADE) have trained over 1,000 bee farmers in Edo state on techniques to increase productivity and profitability.
The training was held at the Edo Innovation Hub, in Edo South and other locations in Edo Central and Edo North Senatorial Districts of the State.
Speaking to journalists at a one-day ceremony to distribute the start-up packs to the farmers, Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Jobs Creation and Skills Development, Mrs. Ukinedo Dare, said the Edo Food and Agricultural Cluster (EdoFAC) partnership with MADE and Thrive Agric gave start-up packs worth N190,000 to 40 farmers.
She said,“Thrive Agric is already on ground to buy honey from the farmers as the partnership will encourage the farmers and enhance profitability. There is high demand; the farmers have already been trained. They are ready to hit the ground running.”
According to Dare, the state government is planning to have a honey processing factory in the state.
On his part, Thrive Agric’s Operations Lead, Obaka Ikani, said farmers stand to benefit a lot from the partnership with Edo State in increasing productivity.
“We work with smallholder farmers across Nigeria. We do input financing for smallholder farmers, provide extension, advisory and technology and also provide them premium market.
“We are currently working with some clusters of farmers in Edo State and are ready to buy the honey produced by these farmers. We are giving out equipment such as honey boxes and protective jackets to start production in the state.”
Field Officer of Market Development in the Niger-Delta (MADE), Raphael Olorunfemi, noted that the reason for the partnership was to help honey farmers increase production and profits.
“We have discovered some few gaps experienced by farmers where they need intervention and we joined forces with Edo State Government and other partners to train farmers in the state.”
One of the beneficiaries, Dr. Bee Oboh, thanked the Edo State Government, Thrive Agric and MADE for the training, noting, “I thought I knew about beekeeping, but after the training some months ago, I discovered that I lacked knowledge in some key areas.”