The National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has trained 100 women and youth on the opportunities within mushroom and tomato value chain.
The training part of the Federal Government’s determination to reduce poverty, unemployment and youth unrest through agriculture.
Speaking during the event at Kwale, Ndokwa and Ukwani local councils in Delta State, the Executive Director of NIHORT, Dr Mohammed Lawal, represented by the Director of Research, Dr. Ephraim Nwanguma, said the training will enhance Federal Government’s efforts to strongly drive the diversification of the country’s economy through agriculture.
He also said it would promote food security, employment opportunities, wealth creation, increase household income, and healthy populace.
He added: “The choice of training on value addition on mushroom and tomato is relevant due to the increase in mushroom consumption as a result of the consciousness of the nutritional and medicinal value and to alleviate post harvest loss for better livelihood of the farmers.”
NIHORT further emphasised that mushroom cultivation can also help reduce vulnerability to poverty and strengthens livelihoods through the generation of a fast yielding and nutritious source of food as well as reliable source of income.
Mohammed disclosed that part of NIHORT’s mandate is to conduct research into genetic improvement, production technologies, processing, storage, utilisation and marketing of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants and spices.
Two participants, Mr. Ndego Uchechukwu and Mrs. Achi Uzoma promised to utilise all the knowledge gained from the training to start up processing business after the training.
The participants were empowered with starter packs to take off after their training.