The National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) has said that a devoted and focused national policy on mass production of pineapple and plantain could turn around the country’s Gross Domestic Product in the next five years.
The Director of Training, NIHORT, Dr Lawrence Olajide Taiwo made this known at a two-day empowerment and training programme on horticultural (plantain and pineapple) value chain, organized for over 400 farmers in Delta State.
Olajide said committed efforts on mass production of pineapple and plantain has the potential of growing the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 10 per cent in the next five years.
He noted that at present, without the inclusion of horticulture, agriculture adds over 24 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP.
“Here in Delta, we are going to train 400 farmers on horticultural value chain. In the next five years, if we continue the way we are going, horticulture will add about 10 per cent to whatever agriculture adds to the country’s GDP,” he said.
The director noted that the training began in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State on Monday, adding that the exercise will now move to the Ika North-East and Ika South LGAs where other farmers will benefit from it.
Also speaking at the event was the Ag Executive Director, NIHORT, Dr Abayomi Akeem Olaniyan, explained that plantain and pineapples are essential horticultural products that can create income for individuals, present employment opportunities, generate revenue and boost the nation’s GDP.
Equally, the Initiator of the programme, Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai, an indigene of Ndokwa/Ukwuani federal constituency, said the training was of utmost importance as it showed indigenes new ways of creating wealth.
Ossai added that pomade and soap could be made from the waste product of plantain – if properly converted.
In his words: “We have engaged experts from the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) to train the farmers in various ways of growing plantain suckers, pineapple suckers and utilising these crops for different purposes.”
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