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October 30th, 2017 / Premium Times, Nigeria

Farm experts drawn from the diverse field of the country’s agricultural value chain rose from a two-day meeting, at the Reiz continental hotel Abuja, on Tuesday, hearing how a German development initiative, the Green Innovations Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector in Nigeria, has trained over 27,000 farmers and is setting sail to create partnership with rice, cassava, maize and potatoes processors and input dealers to secure the country’s food future.

The coordinator for the Green Innovations Centre in Nigeria, Annemarie Matthess, who organized the meeting, said while “the purpose of this meeting is to have a stock taking of what has been achieved in the last 27 months and create partnership with rice, cassava, maize and potatoes processors and input dealers,” the centre’s strategic goal is to train over 200,000 smallholders and processing companies, boost employment growth with at least 1000 new jobs, and increase in income by an average of 20 per cent for 170,000 smallholder farms.

Ms. Matthess said experts at the meeting gathered as top executives, agricultural entrepreneurs, finance experts, channel distributors, agricultural professors, farmers, and producers with the aim of “knowledge sharing on innovations between research and advisory institutions, cooperatives and associations, the distribution of innovations, and advising Nigerian companies to improve processing and make it more economical.”
The Green Innovations Centre, GIZ, is an initiative commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and has the additional mandate of taking innovation centres to Institutions across Nigeria, said Ms. Matthess who doubles in her role as the head of programme of the Sustainable Smallholders Agricultural business programme in the country.

In this role, the initiative is working with Federal Colleges of Agriculture to take up business relevant curricular to complete the conventional training for student and to make young people fit for Agriculture. Read more