Federal government has trained and distributed potato seedlings to six hundred potato farmers in Kaduna State with a view to engaging them in planting orange-fleshed sweet potato to boost food production in the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Mahmud Abubakar stated this at the distribution of potato seedlings to the trained potato Farmers in Kaduna.
The Minister who was represented by the Director, North West Zonal Office of the Ministry, Dr Abdulkareem Durosinlorun noted that, the the essence of the training was to introduce the farmers to new ideas and also to understand the benefit of planting Orange Fleshed Sweet potato.
Dr Mahmud Abubakar explained that, the gesture was under the Potato Value Chain Development Programme for 2021 farming season.
He also said, the farmers were trained on preservation, cultivation, harvesting, processing and marketing techniques of the orange fleshed sweet potato crop.
The Minister called on farmers to take potato farming as a business with a view to support government effort to boost food production in the country.
Also Speaking, the Director Federal Department of Agriculture, Hajiya Karima Babangida said plans are on ground to create awareness for famers to adopt the planting of new variety of orange flashed sweet potato.
Hajiya Bilkisu Babangida represented by the National Coordinator for potato value chain at the Ministry, Mr Adegoke Adedamola said the orange fresh sweet potatos has both industrial and domestic usage.
She further revealed that, the potato is good in bread production, juice, cake, baby foods, biscuits among others
Also speaking, Kaduna State Coordinator of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Timkat Nanfavontau called on the farmers to utilise the opportunity to boost food production in the state and the country.
He urged the beneficiaries to impart the knowledge gained to other farmers in their communities.
Earlier, the National President of Potato Growers, Processors, Marketers Association of Nigeria Mr Bayo Ajibaje, commended the federal government for the support.
Represented by Vice President of the association, Alhaji Jalo Jauro, Adebaje said that such support would go a long way in assisting the potato farmers to grow their production and business.
According to him, the orange Fleshed sweet potatoes business was one of the trend of agricultural business in the international community.
Some of the farmers who spoke with Radio Nigeria expressed gratitude to the federal government for the training and distribution of the seedlings.