By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
The NAERLS-AGRA Kaduna Consortium Project, Bayer has trained 34 women and youth Community Based Advisors (CBAs) and Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) on good agronomic practices for tomato dry season farming.
The training took place at Nationsl Agricultural Extention Research and Liason Services (NAERLS) Conference Hall with the aim of empowering the CBAs with the knowledge and skills on tomato production, including choice of varieties and practices involved, in order to improve their productivity and yield.
Declaring the training opened the Executive Director of NAERLS, Professor Emannuel Ikani advised the CBAs to make use of the knowledge they were provided on good agronomic practices of tomato, as tomato is a very
marketable produce and farming is now business-oriented.
Prof. Ikani stressed the importance of increasing productivity, livelihood, and food security through tomato farming.
The Project Investigator, Professor Christogonus Daudu, gave an overview of the project and the objectives of the training explaining that the project aims is to enhance the capacity of CBAs and AEAs to deliver quality extension services to smallholder farmers in Kaduna State.
He also outlined the expected outcomes and impact of the project on the CBAs, AEAs, and farmers.
In her remarks, the AGRA Kaduna Programme Officer, Dr Esther Ibrahim, applauded the turn out of CBAs and the initiative of the training.
She also emphasized the importance of the training as the CBASs are expected to share their knowledge with the farmers in their communities.
She urged the CBAs to ensure that they involve grass-level farmers in their activities during the span of production and urged the need for increased intentional gender mainstreaming of CBAs.
Mr Olawale, Bayer Company representative, highlighted the high yield potential of the company products and gave assurance of continued support.
The training was conducted by Bayer representatives and NAERLS resource persons.
Various topics related to tomato dry season farming, such as Tomato varieties and seed selection, Seedling production and transplanting; Soil preparation and fertilization; Irrigation and water management; Pest and disease control; Harvesting and post-harvest handling.
The CBAs were also taken to the green house for a practical demonstration of seedling production.
They learnt how to prepare seedbeds, sow seeds, water seedlings, and transplant them to pots or bags.
The training was successful by achieving its objectives as CBAs were drawn from 9 LGAs across Kaduna State expressed their gratitude and thanked Bayer and AGRA for this great opportunity.
• The CBAs gained new knowledge and skills on tomato dry season farming and
Improved their confidence and motivation to apply what they learned in their own farms and communities.
Also the CBAs developed a network and rapport with each other, Bayer representatives, NAERLS resource persons, and AGRA staff.