By Boluwaji Obahopo, LOKOJA

Disturbed about the low yield regarding cashew production in Nigeria, the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) has trained 100 cashew farmers across Kogi State.

The training which was held in Kabba yesterday carried out in conjunction with the National Exporting Promotion Council (NEPC) featured various sessions where cashew farmers were trained on best practices for cashew along the value chain.

Executive Director of CRIN, Dr Patrick Adebola expressed that the training was targeted at updating cashew farmers’ knowledge on ways to boost production, improving yield quality to meet international standards and generating more income.

Adebola said having well-informed cashew farmers will increase the nation’s Gross Democratic Product (GDP), foreign exchange earnings from the sales of cashew nuts, and reduce the nation’s over-independence on crude oil.

CRIN Director in charge of Training, Sunday Agbeniyi urged cashew and other farmers to see farming as a serious business.

He stated that there were so many uses and agricultural practices in cashew production which many cashew farmers were ignorant about; hence were not making enough money that they should.

He bemoaned the fact that there was too much focus on cashew nuts, neglecting the juice, oil, butter and other by -products that could be derived from cashews.

“Aside poor information about good agricultural and business practices, cashew farmers also grappled with poor equipment needed to optimize cashew production.”

He said the training underscore the importance the Federal Government placed on agriculture, expecially as regarded cash crops.

Mrs. Amina Abdulmalik, the Kogi State Chairman, National Exporting Production Council, urged farmers in the state to rise up and become involve in the exportation of their produce.

Mrs. Abdulmalik who was represented by Mr. Edu Paul said the state lack exporters in the agricultural sectors, calling on the farmers to update their knowledge through the training on the proper procedure of documenting their produce for exportation.

Former Chairman, National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Kogi State, Elder Sule Ochala said the training has helped them to understand various methods of tackling the low yield experienced in the cashew farming and how to improve on their peoductions.

Aside that, he said the training has enlightened them on how to optimize cashew farming to make more money.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Jacop Apeh urged the farmers to take the training serious as Nigeria is fast moving from oil dependency to non -oil dependency; where agriculture will play a critical role.

The Commissioner who was represented by Mr. Akor Gabriel said, “The era of oil has gone. farming is Nigeria next “Oil”.”

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