The member representing Ndokwa/Ukwuani Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ossai Nicholas Ossai, has said his intentions of engaging youth, men and women alike through training and empowerment programmes, is to reduce crime, youth restiveness, increase peace and security in every Ndokwa community and to grow the local economy of his people.
“My legacy project is to invest in lives because I believe that when you invest in people, you are investing in the Ndokwa nation and the likelihood of the people will improve, their standard of living will improve, crime will reduce in our communities, youth restiveness will reduce and the local economy will grow”.
Rt. Hon. Ossai, stated this Friday during his ongoing training and empowerment programme for unemployed youth on Mushroom and Ginger value chain in Kwale, Ndokwa east local government area of Delta State.
Represented by his Senior Special Assistant, Ambassador Chibuzor Okereke, Dr. Ossai encouraged the trainees to be interested in the knowledge, give their all to the training you are going to receive and give their best to it, “You have been chosen out of millions”, he informed the participants just as he tasked them to spread the gospel.
He announced that the Constituency is the only one in the country that runs training programmes with different agencies annually, disclosing that over 500 persons have been trained in different skills in the ongoing programme while 10, 000 homes would be touched.
He enjoined all in Ndokwa nation to partner with him in ensuring that he achieve the toaudable dream, “I have interest in agricultural revolution in every community”.
He disclosed that the progress of the trainees are tracked from the Constituency tracking team and also encourage them to form partnership among themselves.
He said aside been just trained, he made efforts in ensuring that they are recommended in order for them to enjoy the Federal Governoment’s programmes, anchor borrowers scheme and the National Directorate of Employment.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Hortcultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Dr. Abayomi Olaniyan, hinted that the training covers very interesting items such as production techniques, value addition, record keeping, economics of production and marketing.
“Mushroom is one of the important food items and plays a significant role in human health, nutrition and diseases and is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Some mushrooms have medicinal benefits of certain polysaccharides, which are known to boost the immune system.
“It can be produced indoor in large quantity within a short period at great profitability. Mushroom cultivation can hep reduce vulnerability to poverty and strengthens livelihoods through the generation of a fast yielding and nutritious source of food and a reliable source of income”, stressing that it provides opportunities for improving the sustainability of small farming system through the recycling of organic matter.
He said ginger on the other hand is one of the commercial crop produced in Nigeria as it could be processed into wide variety of products such as ginger powder, ginger oil and oleoresins.
“The Nigeria ginger varieties are acclaimed to be of superior quality and outstanding flavor and a product of preference in International market. There are a lot of opportunities in the ginger value chain from planting to processing, exporting, logistics, extracting. Ginger based products have a wide range of applications in many industries like food processing, pharmaceutical, soft drinks, meat canning, confectionery, tobacco processing, soap making”.
He advised that improved production techniques and value addition be taken seriously to attract sustainable levels of investment and stakeholders’ interest in agriculture and horticulture.
Also, chairman, NIHORT Governing Board, Major General Garba Mohammed (rtd) said the training was put together to promote employment generation and economic empowerment.
The retired general who was represented by Mr Oluyemi Erewa, said capacity building is one of the avenue used to tackle unemployment, food security and poverty which has been plaguing the nation.
“I want to affirmed that under the distinguished leadership of president Muhammadu Buhari, Youth, women, and men across the country have been enjoying the dividends of democracy through capacity building programmes”.
He charged the trainees to make good use of the opportunity and paying special attention to all that would be taught in the course of the workshop. “I also hope that you will put the knowledge gained during the workshop to productive use so that the desire of the federal government in taking the country to the next level will be realized” he added.
Two participants, Okeke Chinedu and Anabel Onyinye Ogbuego, said the programme would avail them the opportunity to grow the crops and make profit from them.