The Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN), Edo chapter, on Thursday distributed 50,000 cashew seedlings and sesame seeds to farmers in Edo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the distribution of the farm inputs was done in collaboration with Edo Agricultural Development Project (ADP) and the state Tree Crop Unit.
National President FACAN, Dr Victor Iyama said the new vision of FACAN was to plant one million cashew seedlings in four years.
Iyama said “what we are doing now is to encourage short term crops with new varieties,’’.
He called on the state government to invest in irrigation to encourage dry season farming to attract more revenue and increase the value chains in cashew, sesame seed and cocoa.
The National President, Sesame Association, Sheriff Balogun, said the association was in Benin to create wealth by introducing sesame seeds to farmers in the state.
Balogun noted that sesame seed has the potentials to create wealth and also has several health benefits.
“Today, Japan is the second largest importer of sesame seeds from Nigeria because they use sesame seed oil for cooking.
“Nigeria in the past four years has earned a lot of revenue from agriculture out of which sesame seed ranked number one.
“In 2020, Nigeria got about N98.3billion from sesame seed. This figure is the official figure from the National Bureau of Statistics, ‘’ he said.
He further said that few years back, Nigeria was producing 30,000 tonnes of sesame seeds annually but currently, Nigeria is producing about 580,000 tonnes of sesame seeds.
“Nigeria is now the fifth largest producer of sesame seeds in the world and number three in Africa,’’ he said
According to him, about 30 states are currently producing sesame seeds in Nigeria. The four largest producing states are Jigawa, Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa.
The permanent Secretary of the state ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Peter Aikhuomobhogbe said that the ministry had been working with the association to nurse and distribute the 50,000 seedlings to farmers in the state.
Aikhuomobhogbe noted that the focal point of the state government was to create wealth and generate revenue through agriculture in the state.
“To this end, the state governor, Godwin Obaseki has approved the employment of 256 Agricultural extension agents that will provide technical support to the farmers.
Alikhuomobhogbe added that the state government was developing about 200,000 hectares of farm land for farmers in the state.
According to the permanent Secretary, they will need the help of FACAN to train farmers on how to plant sesame seeds because it is a new Crop in the state.
The State Chairman of FACAN, Mr Enahoro Ojiefoh, said the distribution of the seedlings and seeds was to change the narrative of poverty in the agricultural sector.
Ojiefoh said that the solution to poverty was through agribusiness and practice and urged the farmers to ensure that the seedlings and seeds were planted and not sold. (NAN)