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Kogi partners Vietnam experts on new techniques in agriculture

By The Citizen
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Gov.Idris Wada of Kogi on Monday said that agricultural experts from Vietnam would arrive in the state next week to teach its farmers new techniques of cultivating cashew and cassava.

Wada said at a news conference in Lokoja, the state capital that the experts would come to Nigeria with a new high-yielding variety of cashew, found to be suitable for cultivation in the state.

According to the governor, the collaboration is aimed at consolidating the position of the state as the number one producer of cashew and cassava in the country.

Wada said the experts would work in conjunction with selected farmers to establish new cashew plantations in the three senatorial zones.

He said the Vietnamese would also replace the existing ageing cassava and cashew plantations in the state.

Wada said the government had set up a team to grade the cashew produced in the state to enable the farmers to make more money.

He also said the Kogi State University, Ayingba, had been mandated to establish a Cashew Centre of Excellence to conduct research, add more value and attract more patronage.

On cassava, he said that all the 21 local government councils were involved in the cultivation of the crop.

He said the state government would increase the 2,000 hectare cassava farm at Alape to 15,000 hectares in 2015.

Wada said the state had the potential to become the number one producer of rice in Nigeria.

He said that more people would be encouraged to participate in dry season rice production at the end of the month.

Already, the governor said that land, seedlings, fertilisers and other inputs had been made available to the farmers who would participate in the dry season rice project.

According to him, the government will, in 2015, establish more rice and cassava processing plants to curb wastage and create employment opportunities for the youth.