The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat organized a one day training on the production of plantain and banana for rural farmers.
The training was aimed at Empowering Youth and Rural Farmers in the Federal Capital Territory.
Declaring the training open, the Director Agric Services Dr. Nkem Mkpume who was represented by Mr. Daniel Ekele a Deputy Director in the Department encouraged all participants to take the training serious as it was aimed at empowering them.
She stated that plantain and banana grow well in Abuja due to the conducive weather favorable to the growth of the two plants.
The Director however reiterated that there is a huge market for banana
According to her, FCT Administration under Mallam Mohammad Musa Bello and Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has a robust policy on land acquisition for agricultural purposes and a well developed Youth empowerment policy through agriculture and Agro business.
She enjoined all to make good use of the opportunity provided.
In his introductory remarks, the resource person Olawiwo Lateef said the objective of the training was to provide information on pertinent propagation techniques to improve plantain and banana productivity.
He stated that the two plants propagation is done with extreme difficulty as a result of their peculiarities. The techniques he said, though simple is limited by low multiplication rates and propensity of disseminating pests and diseases. This he continued is due to technique of using suckers directly detached from the mother plant.
He further stated that propagation techniques of banana and plantain suckers otherwise known as sprouts are detached from the mother plants and used as planting materials in the field. Different propagation techniques have been advised to enhance rapid sucker production from the corms of plantain.
The trainer advised that all the techniques involved in the production of banana and plantain cannot be taught in one training he therefore suggested that the FCTA can do more by organizing the training from time to time.
One of the participants during the question and answer session suggested that the training can be extended to retiring civil servants as a post service scheme, this he continued can provide meaningful livelihood for them as it will make retirement a viable live style.
He however advised all participants to take the training serious as the program was meant to provide solution to all the identified problems associated with plantain and banana production.
The participants were drawn from Kwali Area Council and its environs, many of the them expressed satisfaction with the program and thanked the Minister of the federal capital territory for his magnanimity in approving such training for them.
They also showed willingness to engage in plantain and banana production as a way of earning a living through agriculture.