Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Ilorin has flagged off training on value chain development in agriculture for key stakeholders across the country.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop organized by the institute for relevant stakeholders in rural development sector in Ilorin on Thursday, the executive director of the ARMTI, Dr. Olufemi Oladunni, said the programme was a wake-up call for an apt utilization of Value Chain Development (VCD) among relevant stakeholders in agriculture.
“The VCD gospel is one the institute has been reiterating and making concerted efforts towards entrenching its practice at every level for a long time. It all began in 2012 when ARMTI was engaged by the Federal Government to conduct a nationwide baseline evaluation of Agricultural Commodity Value Chain. The study revealed that the value chain systems that were existing in the country at that time were rudimentary and weak.
“The response to this finding was the consequent yearly organizing of a Training of Trainers (TOT) on the facilitation of value chain development (VCD) from the year 2013 with about 40 beneficiaries from all the six geo political zones each year being trained and equipped to be VCD facilitators.
“Having systematically started with the state ADPs and FADAMA, the target this year are the local government levels with the Heads of the Agriculture Departments and the Agriculture Officers being the selected candidates for the workshop, ensuring that there are effective linkages and relationships around the VCD stakeholders”.
Dr. Oladunni, who was enthusiastic about the training and the impact it has made over the years, urged the participants to further step down the training in their respective zones, “just like their forebears had done over the years”.
He said that the workshop, titled, “Facilitation of Value Chain Development Activities Through the Development of Active Change Agents” is designed to further strengthen and facilitate linkages and relationship building among VCD actors in their domains.
He also explained that the weak and rudimentary practices of agriculture in Nigeria, if not harnessed with a well-structured value-adding system will not yield any positive result in the diversification of the economy through agriculture. “Therefore, there is a need to strengthen the activities along the value chains and this is the mandate they are being saddled with as active change agents”.
To further explain the benefit of the training, one of the institute’s trainers, Mr. Kingsley Olurinde, said that the participants have been carefully selected from the geopolitical zones across the country, adding that they are expected to step down the training in their respective domains and facilitate linkages and relationship building around VCD actors.