The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) in Ibadan has started the training of 150 farmers on improved livestock production and marketing.
The two-day training has the theme ‘Mitigating the Challenges of Poverty and Unemployment through Livestock Enterprises.’
Speaking on the occasion at the institute, Prof. James Adediran, the IAR&T Executive Director, said that the institute had national and zonal mandates for some crops and livestock.
Adediran said the institute was involved basically in applied research for the benefit of farmers and the nation as a whole.
He said that the mandate of the institute included training farmers and other contributors in the different agricultural value chain.
According to him, agriculture is the oldest profession which has been identified as a key sector in the economy through which unemployment and poverty can be reduced to achieve food security.
He said that Nigeria was yet to be self-sufficient in animal protein production and urged farmers to make good use of the opportunity given to them by the training to broaden their horizon.
“Participate in the activities lined up for the training; engage the facilitators through questions and discussions.
“I will also like to invite and inform you that IAR&T will be 50 years next year, join us in celebrating these 50 years of agricultural research and delivery towards impact on livelihood.
“Together we shall all achieve the government’s aim of improving the economy through agriculture and make Nigeria better,” the executive director said.
Dr Festus Ajayi, the Head of Livestock and Improvement Programme in IAR&T, said the training would focus on poultry, pig, sheep, goat, snail, fish, grass cutter farming and artificial insemination techniques.
Ajayi said that unemployment and poverty, the two major problems facing the country, could be tackled through commercial agriculture and animal husbandry.
“Ways of tackling these problems through agriculture, livestock will all be discussed and addressed during the workshop as indicated in the workshop’s theme.
“The workshop is organised annually; our aim is to key into the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government.
“There will be practical sessions whereby farmers will be grouped, there will be demonstration of farming practices in rearing livestock, marketing, among others, so feel free to interact,”.
One of the farmers, Mr Wole Oguntula, expressed delight in partaking in the training, saying it would educate him on how to improve on his livestock production.
“After the training, those of us here shall be able to reach and teach other farmers who couldn’t make the training, we are grateful to the institute for organising the training,” .