The Delta Government in Asaba started the training of 45 pig farmers on how to nurture pigs and produce high-quality pork for both local consumption and export.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Austin Chikezie, said that the farmers were being trained under the state government’s Pig Multiplication and Farmers Support Programme.
He said that the essence of the training was to expose the pig farmers to global best practices which would ensure their efficiency because of the competitive environment and the challenges facing pig farming.
The commissioner, who was represented by Mr Austin Oghoro, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said that the only way to develop the agricultural sector was through the mutual cooperation of the government and farmers.
Chikezie said that some of the challenges facing pig farmers included the difficulty in acquiring genetically improved breeds of pigs, the high cost of good quality feeds, the lack of appropriate production skills and paucity of funds.
“This programme is in tandem with the agenda of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration, particularly in the areas of agricultural reforms as well as strategic job and wealth creation.
“The governor has also approved the establishment of a Broiler Out-grower Scheme and the training of farmers in profitable goat farming,” .
Chikezie charged the pig farmers to take the training serious so as to justify government’s efforts and commitment to improving their welfare and growing the state’s economy.
The Programme Coordinator, Mr Julius Omunizua, who is the Director of Livestock Services in the ministry, said that each of the trainees would receive some money and materials.
“Government will give them some cash and improved breeds of pigs, not less than 30 pigs for each farmer.
“We have also attached to the participating farmers some youths within the age bracket of 18 and 35 years because if the ageing farmers retire without any replacement, the sector will die,” .
Responding on behalf of the trainees, Mr Jacob Foghi, thanked the state government for the training and pledged that the pig farmers would ensure the achievement of the objectives of the training.