LAWMAKER representing Oyo Central Senatorial District and Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content , Sen Teslim Folarin, has stressed the importance of farming as one of the major drivers of the country’s economy, noting that the nation’s journey to economic prosperity can only be accomplished through proper training and funding of the agricultural sector.
Senator Folarin stated this in Ibadan on Friday, at the closing ceremony of a three-day empowerment training tagged Provision and Adoption of Post-Harvest Techniques for Rural Farmers, organised in conjunction with the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).
The programme, which was held simultaneously at Ona Ara LGA and Ogo-Oluwa LGA, had 500 farmers drawn from Ibadan and Ogbomoso zones of Oyo Central Senatorial District, provided beneficiaries with training on modern post-harvest techniques for grading, storage and transportation of farm produce to desired locations.
While admonishing the participants to improve on their expertise, the lawmaker stated that the empowerment programme was facilitated to ensure that his constituents were not denied the knowledge of modern and innovative farming techniques that would improve their efficiency.
He said, “I am delighted that all of you are willing to contribute to the nation’s food security. I have no doubt that this training has equipped you with the needed skills that will launch you into sustainable large-scale farming through quality preservative measures. Apart from the provision of raw materials for industrial use, agriculture remains one of the biggest sources of employment globally. So, I must ensure that my people are not restricted to traditional farming practices.
“I want the skills garnered in this training to translate to increased profit and productivity. After six months, I will embark on the evaluation of all participants of this programme, and I promise everyone that makes good use of the training an additional cash grant of 200,000 naira each to further improve their proficiency and economic status,” he assured.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of certificates, food preservative tools worth 15 million naira and a sum of 50,000 naira each to 500 rural farmers to bolster their farming business.