By Muhammad Nur Tijani
Kano – The National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) has trained no fewer than 120 farmers on home garden and horticultural waste management to reduce hunger, ailments and poverty in the country.
The project coordinator, Dr Olufunmilayo Idowu, made this known at an awareness campaign on agricultural waste management and home garden at the premises of NIHORT, Bagauda, Bebeji Local Government Area of the state.
The coordinator said that the training was aimed at encouraging people to go into home farming for food security and nutrition.
Idowu said that the institute organised the training to sensitise farmers on how to take care of their farms and the importance of home garden.
He also said that the farmers would be taught how to use waste for crop and mushroom production, as well as business opportunities.
“There are a lot benefits which can be generated from the production of mushroom from all these horticultural wastes apart from the economic benefits. It is also effective in the area of health.
“The vegetables that comes to market does not have the required best practices, that is why we are sensitising the community about home garden, how they can use the waste from their homes to plant vegetables, so that they can generate income for themselves as well as ensure food security,” he explained.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Research Officer and Head of Extension Programme, NIHORT, Dr Funmilayo Olajide-Taiwo said that there was a problem of micro nutrients deficiency in the country and that Nigeria was at risk.
She said that one of the ways to curtail micro nutrients deficiency in the country was through dietary diversification and that home garden could provide the answer.
“We are introducing the participants to home garden and the use of agricultural waste in form of compost (organic fertiliser) in the home garden,”she said.
She advised Nigerians not to wait until they acquired large expanse of lands before embarking on farming, saying that people can actually start with small spaces within their neighbourhood.
“It is not only vegetables that you can cultivate in home gardens. Some people can also cultivate guava, mango, pawpaw etc”
All the beneficiaries interviewed, expressed appreciation to the Institute for the gesture promising to utilize the seed and turn it to wealth.
They also described the exercise as a good one that would enable them to utilize their vacant spaces within their homes properly.
NAN reports that after training all the participants were given either mango, guava or pawpaw seedlings.