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FG certifies 269 soil doctors, agriculture extension workers

Written by on March 24, 2021

– Puts post-harvest losses for yam at 40%

The Federal Government on Tuesday announced that it had issued certificates to 269 soil doctors and agriculture extension workers and provided test kits to facilitate their field operations.

It said the certificates and test kits, which were issued in Maiduguri, Borno State, was following the completion of a two-week training organised by the National Agricultural Land Development Authority in collaboration with the state.

This came as the government also announced that post-harvest losses for yam in Nigeria had risen to 40 per cent.

NALDA in a statement issued in Abuja said the 269 persons, who got various agricultural certificates, were trained in areas of soil sample collection, soil testing as well as extension services.

At the certificate award ceremony, the Executive Secretary, NALDA, Paul Ikonne, expressed optimism that the entry of the trainees into the Nigerian agricultural system would address issues associated with soil testing and food quality.

He explained that the Federal Government was partnering Borno State in the training exercise through NALDA.

Ikonne said, “It is expected that the injection of soil doctors and extension service providers into the Nigerian agricultural system will correct the anomalies of non-soil testing so that farming becomes healthy for the environment, humanity and quality food production.”

Earlier this year NALDA announced its readiness to train over 30,000 youths as soil doctors across all 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

In another development, the government also announced on Tuesday that the country’s post-harvest losses for yam was now 40 per cent.

The Director, Federal Department of Agriculture at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Karima Babaginda, stated this in her keynote address during a capacity building workshop on yam value addition.

She said, “Post-harvest losses have been the bane of yam production in Nigeria, with a loss of up to 40 per cent on account of inadequate storage and processing facilities.”

Babaginda, however, said this was why the workshop was organised to build the capacity of women and youths in the modern techniques for processing of yam into different products.

She said the training would lead to the springing up of many small scale yam processing factories to reduce post-harvest losses, complement the existing few factories and bring more money to actors in the yam value chain.

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