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USAID, Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project train stakeholders , Farmers in Ebonyi

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-to enhance food productivity in post Covid-19 era

Clement Nnachi (Abakaliki)

The United States Agency For International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project (under the Feed the Future Initiative), held an enlarged consultative meeting with relevant Stakeholders/Farmers in Ebonyi State geared towards enhancing productivity in food value chain.

The Workshop with the Theme”Covid-19 and Agri-Food SME in Nigeria ..Evidence from Fish and Poultry Value Chain ”

Participants at the event were drawn from  farmers , Agriculturalists, Cooperative Societies, staffs of the Ministry  of Agriculture, Permanent Secretary Secretaries  among others .

The event was held at the Cleavereo Hotel along Onwe road Abakaliki the State capital.

Addressing the participants and relevant stakeholders in the Agricultural sector/train the trainers workshop through Zoom, the Assistant Professor International Development Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics Michigan State University Professor iOyinkan Tasie, said that USAID was committed to supporting policy processes via Scientific Research to enhance skills and mentoring .

“the initiative is aimed at promoting policy driven collaborative research and analysis as well as supporting Nigerians and partners to provide evidence that would guide policy processes in the agricultural sector.”

“The workshop is aimed at bringing out findings and recommendations in addition to way forward on the impact of Covid-19 on Agric Foods SMEs with evidence from the fish and Poultry value chain in the State”

Professor Tasie noted that the goal of the workshop was to have a conversation around those evidence to ensure policy makers engage the Academia and beneficiaries to strengthen the policy making process in the agricultural sector.

Also speaking on the occasion, the Permanent Secretary of Ebonyi State Ministry of Agriculture Mrs Patricia Okiri ,said that the State government was committed I enhancing agricultural productivity in theState .

The Permanent Secretary said that the state government has provided grants to farmers and has made accessibility of fertilizers to all relevant agriculturalists.

Earlier in a remarks, the Ebonyi State Facilitator of the Scheme Dr Okpani Ndukwe, said that USAID has been in Ebonyi State since 2015 and has provided food field policy direction, training and retraining of staffs in the State university .

“USAID had since 2015 embarked on the training and retraining of Staffs of the State Ministry of Agriculture in so many ways ,soft ware package and retraining of staffs of the faculty of Agriculture ”

Contributing a participant  at the workshop and a poultry farmer from Ezza North Local government area of the Ebonyi State Mrs Helen Nwankpuma, enjoined the government to provide more incentives to farmers insisting that the Covid__19 pandemic affected the scope and productivity of agriculture in the State.

“The Covid-19 Lock down affected agriculture practice and farmers generally, we could no longer access our farms regularly unlike the pre-Covid era, uncertainty and fear of the unknown was a major factor”

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