As part of efforts to ensure the production of tomatoes all year round in the South East region of the country, the Federal Government has trained some farmers on modern production technique in Enugu. The training tagged; ‘Emergency training on all season tomato production for youths and women in the South East, South South and South West, held at the Enugu State College of Education Technical (ESCET), had mostly youths and women in attendance. The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, while declaring the training open, said that the ministry, through its development partners, are training farmers on modern production of tomato to increase the supply and curb scarcity.
The minister, who was represented by the State Coordinator and Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Enugu, Mr. Peter Nwaogor, commended the Federal Government for investing heavily in agriculture, stating that the effort would reduce hunger and address food insecurity in the country. He urged the participants to share the knowledge they acquired at the training to other farmers in their respective communities, for the advancement of tomato production in the state. “It is in the light of this that the ministry is conducting a training programme for farmers in Enugu state to ensure continuity and supply of tomato in Nigeria. “Government policy on tomato production has huge potential to generate massive employment, eliminate hunger and poverty as well as save foreign exchange and create income and wealth among farmers,” he said.
The Programme Manager, Enugu State Agricultural Development Programme, (ENADEP), Dr. Ogbonna Onyishi, said that the training was organised to teach farmers modern techniques of producing tomato. He said that benefits of the training were enormous, saying that Enugu had started producing 30 per cent of tomato being used in the state. “We are here for the training of farmers on the production of tomato, organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. They are being trained on specific crops that grow in the South East. The training will create opportunity for farmers to learn how to use technology and all varieties of species to ensure that tomato is produced all season. It will also reduce the hike in price because it will be always available in the market”, Onyishi added.