No fewer than 21 small holders farmers in Enugu State have been trained on agribusiness sustenance by the Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
The Executive Manager of the company, Mr Vincent Nnadi made the disclosure during the graduation of the farmers in Enugu on Tuesday.
Nnadi said that the programme was part of the social responsibility of the company in contributing to food security and attainment of the relevant Sustenance Development Goals (SDG).
“A well developed food chain is essential for the development and success of the Nigerian agribusiness sector.
“Lack of agricultural storage facilities and knowledge has made farming in Nigeria a less attractive venture for the small holder farmers.
“Hence, Total and her partners intervened in creating awareness and increasing capacity on the value addition that these farmers could leverage on to make a success of their farming business,” he said.
The executive manager was represented by the Head, CSR Partnership, Mrs Delight Sunday-Anecho.
He said that the programme was an initiative of the NNPC /Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd. and its partners.
Nnadi explained that the company was consistently committed to giving back to the communities through human, social and economic development.
He said that the programme was implemented in all states of the federation irrespective of whether or not they were oil producing.
Nnadi, who encouraged the trainees to apply the knowledge they had got, said that small holder farmers are key to achieving food sufficiency.
“Plant for subsistence and become a giant if you apply the knowledge you have got here because the ground is full of money.
“You are the key in the food chain and as young, proud farmers, I expect you to make the difference,” the executive manager said.
Earlier, the Director, Davichi Empowerment Initiative, Mr Davies Echegwisi commended the sponsors of the training for the initiative and finding his organization worthy to train the smallholder farmers in the state.
“Over the past three weeks the participants have demonstrated a focused commitment in all aspects of the programme and have formed working groups.
“This will enable them execute any post-training plans effectively and are quite hopeful that they will become significant contributors to the transformation of the agricultural sector in Nigeria,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that majority of trainees are young graduates below 30 years.
They were trained in technical, business, operational training, processing and packaging, branding/marketing, the use of ICT in agribusiness and leadership skills.
Responding, a representative of the trainees, Mr Romanus Eze thanked the companies for the kind gesture.
Eze described the programme as the right move towards food security in the country.
According to him, if certain impediments are not sorted out, the journey to the attainment of food security will be a mirage.
He said that the issue of land tenure system, improved seedlings and fertilizers were still major problems in the South East.