Sunny DeLegend Services, an NGO, in collaboration with Kogi Government on Saturday trained 500 farmers on “Agriculture Beyond Food: E-commerce Training”.
The Managing Director of the NGO, Mrs Joy Amuta, told journalists in Lokoja that the training would cut across areas such as agriculture, fashion, recycling and real estate.
She added that 10,000 farmers were targeted through value chain with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) including benefits such as workshop, business plan, loan facilities, off-takers opportunity, partnership and business connection.
“Many people do not know that with agriculture you can become a millionaire, and that is the reason we are trying to educate, sensitise and train them in that aspect.
“We are also partnering with Tehilla Shelter Foundation, Heal4Africa Initiative, SMEDAN and other stakeholders to bring hope to the people and restore to them what they had lost in agriculture.
“Today, we are opening the mind of the participants that they can actually channel whatever passion they have into agriculture; you can source your income from agriculture and use it to develop your passion,” she said.
Amuta commended the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, for making the programmme a success, saying the farmers are ready to really engage in mechanised farming.
“We will educate, sensitise, train and give them the necessary information on how they can easily access these funds.
“We urge all farmers across the state to take advantage of the programme and key into it,” she said.
She added that the organisation had mapped out 1,000 hectares of land for this wet season, but that the main challenge was land clearing. She said the commissioner has promised to facilitate it.
Oloruntoba commended the organisers for the initiative, describing it as a wonderful project and a way of empowering the people to richness.
According to Oloruntoba, there is land, water and people; and the government is supporting agriculture, but the NGOs are needed to partner with government to educate and train our people.
“So, programmes like this will create an avenue to let our people know those opportunities that are available to them and take advantage of them.
“We have also completed land mappings few days ago for 4,800 farmers with minimum of one hectare each, for proper information and accurate data to eliminate sharp practices,” he said.
Mr Clement Ilegoke, a participant, said on behalf of his colleagues that: “I think we are impressed because the loans are well explained and we are all ready to go back to the farm and make the state proud.”