Delta State Government yesterday commenced training of agricultural field extension officers and enumerators to equip farmers with innovative farming techniques and technologies for the 2023 farming season.
The training occurred at the Delta Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (DARDA) headquarters in Ibusa, Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.
At the opening ceremony of the training program, the Commissioner for Agricultural and Natural Resources, Hon. Godfrey Enita, reeled out the objectives of the training exercise which involved at least 70 participants in its first instance.
He stated, “The training objectives are to equip participants with the knowledge and skills required to deliver innovative agriculture technologies to farmers during the 2023 farming seasons.
“It is also a cardinal priority of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to leverage the potential of the agricultural sector to grow and diversify the economy. Also, the training serves as a forum for communicating management’s expectations to participants and addressing field challenges.
“However, the government is aware of the challenges facing DARDA, which essentially hovers around adequate and timely funding, and is a challenge affecting all sectors of the economy in the country. So, it should not be an excuse for non-performance.
“The government is also aware of the difficulties that farmers are facing, especially the damages and losses caused by the last flood, and is currently working on a support scheme to enable farmers to get back to productivity and profitable farming. I am aware this is the first session of the pre-season training, and the second session will follow immediately, consisting of 155 extension agents’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Mr. Ben Agamah, urged all participants to make proper use of the opportunity with commitment and determination to drive the process successfully.
“Agriculture is the soul and heart of prosperity. We are opportune to be those change agents trying to transform hunger into wealth. Therefore, we all have a responsibility to effect change. To cause a change for the farmers, we also need to change. There should be an attitudinal change to start with developing ourselves,” Agamah said.
Earlier, the Programme Manager of DARDA, Mr. Julius Omonizua, and the Chairman of DARDA, Dr. Emmanuel Tibi, buttressed the importance of the exercise geared towards promoting agriculture in the state and preparing farmers for the planting season.
Meanwhile, the Zonal Extension Officer Delta South, Warri. Mr. Henry Okpomini, in a vote of thanks, lauded the commissioner and other organizers for such an impactful event and prayed for more.