Mr Abubakar Fikpo, Director-General of NDE, inaugurated the programme on Wednesday, in Amaike Ezzamgbo, Ohaukwu Local Government Area (LGA), of Ebonyi.
Fikpo, represented by the NDE Coordinator in Ebonyi State, Mr Marcel Igboanude, said the one-week training was designed to equip beneficiaries with the relevant skills for agricultural extension services.
He expressed optimism that food production through agricultural extension office, would also stimulate rural economy among others.
He noted that agriculture had been the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy before and after the discovery of crude oil, as agriculture provided more than 35 per cent of employment and 25 per cent of overall real Gross Domestic Product (GDP), for the country.
“This programme will expose the participants to the use of scientific and technology driven services of farming, in order to guarantee disease-free production.
It will also guarantee high quality yield and stress-free processing of agricultural products,” he said.
Fikpo said that the overall result would among other benefits, provide a lifeline for the beneficiaries and their immediate families, create jobs, and would also equip them with the prerequisite knowledge of agriculture for the challenges ahead.
“Participants will be self-reliant. boost agricultural productivity, enhance food security and provide employment opportunities.
“While it will also improve rural livelihood and promote agriculture as an engine of economic growth,” he said.
He, however enjoined the trainees to exhibit more commitment to the training, in order to make the best use of the opportunity and support the fight against unemployment.
He thanked the government of Ebonyi, for its support to NDE operations in the state.
Dr Mike Mbata, Director, Rural Employment Promotion Department, who was represented by Mr Paschal Edene of NDE, urged the participants to focus and utilise the opportunity the training provided, as well as to support the Federal Government’s policies on sustainable agriculture.
Mary Okoro, who spoke on behalf of other participants, lauded the Directorate for the initiative, and appealed for adequate training arrangements to enable them put into practice the knowledge they acquired.