By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
With bid to boost food security in the country, the Federal Government has started potato revolution in Kano State as it builds capacity of 150 farmers along the value chain.
This was part of activities by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development led by Director of Federal Department of Agriculture, FDA, Hajia Karima Babangida, in Gezawa Local Government Area, Kano State where a 5-day capacity building workshop on Farmers Business School, FBS, with focus on re-educating Irish potato farmers on farming as business rather than been a culture was declared open by her, which commenced June 21 and will end June 25, 2021.
Being represented by Assistant Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Kano State Office, Abbah Gana, she said decades farming generally has been practised from the perception of been a culture of forefathers instead of been viewed as a profession and business.
She said: “In the pursuit of food security and nutrition for our country, and if we are to achieve these, we must begin to change the narratives about farming as culture to farming as a business.
“It is in this regard that Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with German International Corporation (GIZ) has been a strong advocate for this paradigm shift in our agriculture.
“Further to the foregoing, it’s a known fact that Irish potato is a premium cash crop sought after by many here in the country and other West African countries.
“The purpose of this 5 day workshop is to bring together Irish potato farmers in class of thirty (30) each to build their capacity on simple farming business models and concept in order to increase their technical knowhow on farming practices so they can earn more income from doing the same job.
“It is important to know that FBS is capable of starting a potato revolution here in Kano especially in Gezawa LGA and other communities in the state that has potentials to grow potato during dry season.
“In view of the above, it is important for all participants to make good use of this training to learn and adopt the new farming business innovations that would be handed over to them over the course of the 5 day workshop which covers twelve (12) modules with different topics and practical through participatory approach. Potato farmers in Plateau State who were the first to benefit from FBS have profited immensely from the adoption of these new farming business innovations, I have no doubt the same will be the outcome here after the workshop is over. FMARD is poised to build the capacity of farmers in other states with potentials to grow Irish potato with new innovations and techniques on GAP and FBS to ensure productivity and income generation.”
She also expressed optimism that the 5-day workshop will achieve the purpose for organising the FBS training would have been achieved as Potato farmers in Gezawa would have been equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge on farming as a business for increased productivity and income.
“The 60 participants would also be able to spread the knowledge on FBS to other farmers within the communities.
“It is expected that this 5-day workshop would avail all participants the opportunity to master the basic farming business models to grow their potato business”, she said.