The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), on Monday trained no fewer than 240 farmers on climate resilient practices in Maize, Rice and Tomato production in Edo.
The training was done in collaboration with the Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Benin.
Declaring the training open, the Edo Director of FMARD, Mr Wellington Omoragbon, said the training was geared towards teaching the farmers smart agricultural practices to mitigate against the effect of climate change in crop production.
Omoragbon, represented by Mr Sunny Omoike, a Director in the ministry, stated that the increase in temperature, change in rainfall pattern, drought, floods and increase in acidity had adversely affected the production of crops in the state.
He noted that efficient initiatives in water management, smart tillage, good soil practices, crop mixtures, use of weather forecasting tools, high quality planting materials and varieties were smart agricultural practices that can enhance productivity.
According to him, about 4,000 farmers of different agricultural value chains are targeted to be impacted by this training.
In his remarks, Mr Sunday Erhunmwonsere, the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, said the training will boost productivity of farmers in the three crop value chains.
Erhunmwonsere said the ministry was introducing varieties of seeds that could withstand climate change, adding that the training was about emerging trends in rice, maize and tomato production.
“We have new varieties of seeds, the climate is changing, we have new technologies, new infestation and because of this we are bringing varieties that can withstand climatic change.
“Several training programs have been lined up for farmers in the state to boost their production and increase yields,” he said.
He, however, disclosed that at the end of the training, the farmers would be provided with bags of fertilizer, seeds and agrochemicals.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr Edward Iziebegie, the Program Manager, Edo State Agricultural Development Program( ADP), commended the federal ministry of Agriculture for the training.
Iziebegie said before now, the average yields of rice, maize and tomato in the state were not encouraging.
He noted that with the training on the climate resilient practices and improved varieties of seeds, average yields would increased to four tons and above per hectare as against the usual two tons per hectare.
Mr Monday Kwumere, a tomato farmer, and Ogedengbe Johnbull, a maize farmer, commended the federal and state governments for the training.
They noted that the knowledge gained will go a long way to boost production and yields.