In Niger Delta Amnesty Office to train 1,000 ex-miltants on advanced farming

Boroh said that the Amnesty office had looked closely into the future and was focusing its empowerment programme more on agriculture.

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Brig. Gen. P.T Boroh play

Brig. Gen. P.T Boroh

(Pulse)
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Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, retired Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh, has said an additional 1,000 former agitators will soon commence training in advanced crop and animal farming.

Boroh told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Monday in Abuja that 600 of them  would be trained  in advanced crop and animal farming in Songhai Rivers while the remaining  400 would be deployed  in Songhai Cross River

The Presidential aide said the training would also enable beneficiaries to acquire knowledge on modernised farming techniques, adding that the training would be in batches of 100 each, to be completed over a  five-month period.

Boroh said that the Amnesty office had looked closely into the future and was focusing its empowerment programme more on agriculture, because of its tremendous potentials.

Modern biotechnology includes a range of tools, including genetic engineering that are utilised to develop beneficial traits in plant and animal agricultural products.

“Crops such as corn and soybean have been genetically enhanced for improved weed, pest, and disease management, reduced pesticide use, higher-yielding crops, reduced soil erosion, and reduced levels of natural toxins.

“With today’s technology, farmers are better able to match seed characteristics and production practices to soil type and climate conditions,” the coordinator said.

He said results would be higher yields with lower input costs from more efficient use of chemicals, fertilisers and tillage, resulting to a higher quality food at a lower cost for consumers.

Agriculture plays a valuable role in our everyday lives by not only providing us with food, but also by maintaining a strong economy.

“On a worldwide basis, more people are in some ways involved in agriculture than in all other occupations combined.

“Very soon agriculture will be Nigeria’s largest industry; it won’t be computers or oil and gas or entertainment as is the case presently,” he opined.

He said that some beneficiaries of the amnesty programme had embraced modern technology in agribusiness.

Such developments include precision agriculture, remote sensing, computers, the internet, specialised software, global positioning, drip irrigation and biotechnology.

“There is what is called the Global Positioning System (GPS), a key technology utilised in precision agriculture, linking to a system of satellites, a farmer uses a receiver to pinpoint his or her position to within inches.

“The information helps the farmer identify precisely where to plant and when and where to apply pesticides and fertiliser,” he said.

Boroh said agricultural advancements also appeared in much smaller forms, such as seeds for farmers to optimise agricultural production.

They must have competitively priced, high-quality, high-yielding seed varieties with characteristics desired by consumers.

“Many of these varieties will result from advances in genetics and modern biotechnology.

According to him, agriculture is important because it provides the basic essentials for living.

Boroh  said that agriculture was not just an industry, but the foundation of civilisation.

The food we eat, the beverages we drink, the clothing we wear, and the materials for our homes are all products of agriculture.

“Without agriculture, we will have none of these.

“Agriculture also provides us with many of our traditions and values.

“We celebrate agriculture by attending food festivals, visiting farms and wineries, planting gardens and watching our favourite cooking shows on television, ” he said.

According to him, consumers of agriculture in other nations were fortunate to have affordable food supply that was also safe, plentiful, nutritious and convenient.

Thanks to agriculture, we can enjoy a bounty of such food in Nigeria too, ” he said.

The Coordinator said that developments in science and technology had also contributed to better soil nutrient, water and pest management.

He said it had also added a more efficient methods of planting, harvesting, storing, processing and transporting farm products.

Boroh said the developments had resulted in more and better quality food than ever before.

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