FACAN donates 150,000 cashew seedlings to Edo farmers
...sesame seeds for 3000 hectares
The Edo State Chapter of the Federation of Agricultural Commodity Associations of Nigeria (FACAN) in partnership with Peniel Gerar International has on Wednesday distributed 150,000 free cashew seedlings to farmers in the state.
The group also distributed 3000 hectares worth of sesame seeds free to farmers across the three Senatorial District of the State.
Enahoro Ojiefoh, the state chairman of FACAN , speaking at the Edo Agro Commodity Conference organised by the association in Benin City said the master plan of the association was to plant 1million cashew trees in five years.
He said 100 seedlings will be distributed free to the farmers annually.
Ojiefoh, said the association in partnership with Peniel Gerar International limited also trained 3000 farmers on sesame seeds, soybeans, and groundnut commercial farming across the three senatorial districts of the state.
He explained that the gesture from FACAN was geared towards bringing up farmers in line with modern agricultural practices to boost their productivity and also provide a platform for the farmers to take their place in Agro Commodity Export business in Nigeria and West Africa sub-region.
According to him, FACAN has signed an agreement with Peniel Gerar International Limited and other 14 oil seeds processors and exporters as 100 percent off-takers for Edo sesame seeds, soybean and groundnut farmers.
“Peniel Gerar International Limited will set up four warehouses for Sesame seeds, Cocoa beans, cashew nuts exports in the state.
“For the first year we will invest 100,000 economic seedlings and add another 200,000, the third year 300,000 so that by the fourth year, the farmers would have planted 1million cashew trees.
“For the sesame, we are targeting 2000 tons of seeds yearly into Edo state economy which translate to about a minimum of N8 billion in value by the fifth year”, he said.
Ojiefoh said the association is currently working with Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) and Ambrose Ali University (AAU) especially the faculty and students of Agriculture to nurture the vision by gradually exposing students to the realities of their passion and chosen career path.
He also added that the aim was to allow the students to explore the possibility of improving the practical sessions and agribusiness modules of the curriculum.
On his part, Victor Iyama, national president of FACAN, who opined that people erroneously associate agriculture with poverty noted that agriculture is a serious and highly lucrative business.
He maintained that sesame and cashew when properly cultivated would yield a lot of foreign currency for farmers in the international market.