Kogi State to Employ 1000 Extension Workers to Enhance Cassava Production

Kogi State Government has unveiled a strategic plan to bolster cassava production in Nigeria by engaging over 1000 extension workers. The announcement was made by Mr. Timothy Ojoma, the Commissioner for Agriculture, during the inauguration of the State Executive Council of the Cassava Cottage Processing Marketing Association (CACOPMAN) in Lokoja.

The initiative aims to equip extension workers with updated information and knowledge about cassava cultivation. The state government is set to provide substantial support, including 80% of the necessary resources such as tractors, improved stems, fertilizers, chemicals, and land clearing across 48 designated areas spanning the state’s three senatorial districts.

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In addition to resource allocation, the government will hire over 1000 extension workers to ensure farmers have access to current information on cassava farming practices. This effort aligns with the state’s broader agricultural intervention, which also encompasses rice and maize production.

Commissioner Ojoma emphasized the importance of translating extension services into local languages to facilitate comprehension and promote the adoption of best practices, particularly in light of climate change challenges.

Highlighting Governor Usman Ododo’s commitment to agricultural development, Ojoma reiterated the administration’s focus on food production and security, evident from its prioritization of agriculture as a key agenda item.

Moreover, the state government has concluded the training of enumerators for an upcoming biometric capturing exercise aimed at gathering vital data on all farmers across the state.

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The newly appointed leadership of CACOPMAN was urged to collaborate effectively with the government’s food production initiatives to enhance food security within the state.

In response, Mr. Ufana Hussein, the newly appointed state CACOPMAN Chairman, underscored the transformative potential of cassava, emphasizing its role in industrializing Kogi and Nigeria at large. He highlighted various industrial inputs derived from cassava processing, including starch, cooking gas, organic fertilizer, animal feeds, and staple food products like gari and fufu.

The call to action resonated with other agricultural stakeholders, including Mr. Segun Ilori, the National President of CACOPMAN, and Mr. Salihu Adobauji, the State President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), who encouraged cassava farmers to persevere amid economic challenges and contribute to food production during the upcoming farming season.

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