The National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) on Monday trained no fewer than 45 plantain and pineapple farmers from Edo on the use of modern technology in the production of plantains and pineapples.
Abayomi Olaniyan, the Executive Director of NIHORT, in his address of welcome to the farmers during the training held in Benin, said that it was crucial to enhancing productivity.
“Plantain is a unique and important food crop and an important source of income for smallholder farmers.
“Plantain is a low capital agribusiness, comparatively lucrative and adaptable to almost every Nigerian soil.
“The training will expose the participants to how to turn plantain waste into wealth, the stems of plantain are good source of fibres for industrial ropes, mats and fancy hats among others”, he said.
Olaniyan said that an increased production could help to ensure food security and job creation and launch the country on the path of self-sufficiency.
Retired Major General Garba Mohammed, the chairman of the governing board of NIHORT, urged the farmers to take the training seriously.
Mohammed said plantains and pineapples were important economic and food security crops capable of generating employment for the people.
Also speaking, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Richard Edebiri, thanked the management of NIHORT for bringing the training programme to Edo.
Edebiri noted that Edo was the largest producer of plantains and pineapples in the country .
He said that the state government recently partnered the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on the development of 40 varieties of plantain and pineapple suckers for farmers in the state.
He urged participants to take advantage of the new method of multiplying plantain and pineapple suckers for increased productivity.