The Federation of Agricultural Commodity Associations of Nigeria (FACAN) says 49 agricultural groups in Sokoto State have been trained in modern production and marketing strategies.
The National Secretary of FACAN, Dr Bello Dogondaji, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Sokoto.
Dogondaji said that the association was making efforts to introduce the groups to modern strategies in crop production and marketing so as to boost their productivity.
He said that the groups were registered agricultural associations that produced a variety of items, dealers in agricultural produce, owners of agro-allied processing firms and industries, among others.
Dogondaji commended the Federal Government’s efforts to boost the country’s agricultural development, saying that over N200 billion had been saved via the reduction of rice importation alone.
He said that the association had been engaged in plans to boost the production and processing of shea butter and neem seeds for industrial use.
“Various categories of farmers and other stakeholders in agricultural sector are being educated on modern techniques and the value chains of some produce for more gains,’’ he said.
Dogondaji lauded the Federal Government and the Sokoto State Government for organising successful a trade and investment conference in Sokoto last year, saying that it would fast-track the government’s efforts to diversify the economy through agriculture.
He said the association made three-point submissions at the conference, which included the use of organic manure for cultivation as well as chemical fertilisers and other modern inputs.
He said that the second submission was on the agreement with the Sokoto State Government on the sustainability of a commodity board so as to protect farmers against the manipulation of produce hoarders.
He said that third submission was on production of woollen bags for packaging agricultural produce, instead of polythene bags. Dogondaji, who noted that the woollen bags were currently imported for the time being, stressed the need for indigenous companies to produce the bag and make them available to farmers across the country. (NAN)