The Co-coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chigbo Okoli, and fifteen Farm Mates of the maiden edition of the Naija Farmer Reality TV Show visited the IITA Abuja Station on a field tour.
The essence of the visit was to see, in practice, some aspects of agriculture taught in the Farm House. It was also an opportunity to be educated on some latest technologies that IITA has developed.
The Head of IITA-Abuja Station, Gbassey Tarawali, received the Farm Mates in a welcome ceremony at the Institute. He gave a brief background on IITA’s activities, highlighting the model, approaches, and lessons learned. He also spoke of youth employment through the agricultural value chains. He was emphatic that agriculture presented hope for the youth in Nigeria and Africa in general.
Following Tarawali’s remarks, IITA Yam Seed System Specialist Beatrice Aighewi gave a presentation on “Recent development in yam seed systems”. She emphasized the many opportunities that abound in yam seed multiplication.
In his response, the show’s CEO thanked the management of IITA for the opportunity given to the Farm Mates to visit IITA. He explained the project’s aim and objectives to provide a solution to youth unemployment and resolve insecurity caused by youth restiveness and joblessness.
“Rounding up the over two months stay in the house with an IITA tour will go a long way in buttressing the teachings received from different farm owners. We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to learn more in IITA,” the CEO said.
The visit’s highlight was the practical aspect that saw the Farm Mates cutting and planting yam vines at the screen house. Aighewi gave them a detailed lesson on the new technology of yam seed multiplication using vine cuttings. The Farm Mates also visited the cassava field, where they demonstrated their interest in going into the cassava value chain. The visit ended with a general tour of the Station.
Responding on behalf of the Farm Mates, Joyce Chinwende-Okoroji thanked the Management and Staff of IITA. “We appreciate and will put in practice all that we learned in IITA today,” she assured.