Maduako Igbokwe l Thursday, December 15, 2022
AWKA, Anambra, Nigeria – Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) are training 100 rice farmers in Anambra. The 2-day capacity building programme for farmers and agro process is orgainsed under Products and Marketing Enhancement Scheme (PAMES) of SMEDAN.
Speaking at the opening ceremony in Awka, Mr Olawale Fasanya, the Director General of SMEDAN said the training was aimed at providing technical support services to MSEs in agro-allied businesses on product development, from farm gate to market.
Fasanya who was represented by Mr Hilary Okwor, an Assistant Director in the Agro Business Department said it was also aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in agro development in the areas of product development, storage, standardisation, sales and marketing.
He said SMEDAN was collaborating with relevant stakeholders to provide standard product development services to promote market access and encourage competitiveness.
“It is all about how to address challenges in the production value chain from the farm to the table, we are training them on how to produce, process, preserve, standardise and sell in order to get the maximum benefit from their enterprise,” he said.
He said the training was going on in two other states of Akwa Ibom and Kano.
Also speaking, Ms Chito Onuzuluike, State Manager of SMEDAN in Anambra said the choice of rice in the state was because it had a comparative advantage in the production of rice.
She said the participants are tested rice farms who were drawn from rice farm cooperatives available in the data of Anambra Ministry Of Agriculture.
She said the trainees would go back home better equipped as they would be trained on modern processing techniques, post harvest processes and agro insurance to inoculate them from extreme loss in event of disasters like recent fraud.
“These are real farmers drawn from the rice producing areas of Anambra, they are not political farmers, we have followed their records and that is what qualified for this training.
“SMEDAN is also working with these cooperatives in the areas of input procurement, we have been able to help some of the procure de-stoning machines,” she said.