By G9ija

Constituents of Egbado North/Imeko Afon federal constituency, Ogun state, comprising 45 young male and female farmers, have been trained and empowered on integrated farming activities by agricultural experts at the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM), Ilorin, Kwara state.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of a weeklong training programme in Ilorin at the weekend, the executive director, NCAM, Engineer Dr. Muideen Kasali, said that the training was aimed at impacting on socioeconomic life and development of the participants.

Engineer Kasali, who described integrated farming as an amalgamation of different agro entrepreneurship activities, said that they are merged to form a complex one.

“These include rearing of fish, poultry, market gardening, and snailery. It’s done in such a way that output of one unit will be an input of another, which brings about zero wastage. Wastage is very minimal. For instance, manure from poultry will be used as organic fertiliser for marketing gardening. Also, effluence from fishery would be used for market gardening in form of irrigation.

“They were taught how to make fingerlings with a possibility of making 150 per cent profit. They can break even quite easily in fingerlings production and it’s very profitable. They were also taught how to rear layers and broilers in poultry,” he said.

The agric expert said that the training would impact on economic life and development of the participants as well as make them employers of labour.

“In this era of absence of white collar job, this training, coupled with resilience and focus of the participants, they will be employers of labour, while it will also have multiply effect on their pockets and socioeconomic life”, he said.

He also said that participants were presented with starter packs, ranging between N50,000 and N100,000, advising them to form themselves into association and cooperative societies to access credit facilities, loans, and share risk on investment, “as losses would be shared among them rather than one person bearing the cost of any loss solely”.

Some of the participants, who spoke with journalists, including Babatunde Folasade Abolanle, from Yewa North, Surajudeen Akanni and Gbenga Ogundipe from Imeko Afon local government, said that the training would have great impact in their socioeconomic life.

“We were taught on crop and animal husbandry, poultry, snailery, fisheries, packaging of our produce, marketing of our produce and market survey. We were told about planning, location, and needs in our environment. We were told that we don’t need large amount of money to start”, he said.