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60 farmers trained on ‘Good Agricultural Practice’ in Plateau

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Wednesday in Plateau conducted training on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) for 60 farmers across the country.

The 60 farmers were drawn from Kano State, Enugu State, Cross River, Plateau and Jigawa.

The Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Mr Abdullahi Abubakar, was represented by Mrs Omotosho Agbani, Head of Horticulture Division of the ministry.

Abubakar said that the workshop, entitled “Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and Post Harvest Handling of Artemisia Annua” was to empower farmers in the production of Artemisia Annua.

According to him, the plant , a native to China, has been used for the treatment of malaria and fever for more than 4,000 years.

He said that effort has to be made to adopt good agronomic practices to ensure optimal production and processing of the crop and to promote its utilisation for control and management of human diseases and crop protection.

“The training would optimally and sustainably produce the biomass for factories that are into Artemisinin extraction to achieve import substitution and self -sufficiency in Artemisia utilisation”, he said.

The Director said that the workshop was borne out of the need for government to create awareness on the benefits of the crop and as well upgrade the technical know-how of relevant project support and extension officers.

“Participants are, therefore, expected to fully utilise this opportunity to acquire the skills to be provided in this programme and put it into practice as well as train others both in private and public sector,” he said

Also speaking at the workshop, Prof. Chike Ogbona, A-Z Biotechnology Ltd., said that Nigeria had improved the variety of Artemisia, which woulf in turn boost the economy and create more jobs and reduce importation of most drugs.

The participants were ready to learn and put to use the acquired knowledge.

Nwankwo Ikechukwu, a participant from Enugu State, said that he hoped to be taught the practical aspects, how to market the plants and also get the seed.

Another farmer from Cross River, Iboretim Effiom, said that he was ready to learn and also to teach others about the plants.

The director, however, urged everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and also to be ready to teach other farmers about Artemisia.

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