THE Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) said it is committed to revamping the nation’s economic fortunes accruable from non-oil export commodities.
The Director-General of the council, Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim stated this at a training seminar organised for Sesame farmers in Doma, Nasarawa state on Thursday.
The seminar was tagged: “Post-harvest Guidelines in Sesame Production and Processing: bedrock for profitability”.
The D-G, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Raw Materials Cluster Development Division (RCDD), Mrs Osagie Giwa, said it was important for local sesame farmers in Nigeria to embrace standard agronomic practices.
Ibrahim said the seminar was organised by the council to build the capacity of sesame seed farmers in the state on extant agronomic best practices.
The D-G added that the council was introducing sustainably viable policies in building local capacities.
Ibrahim said: “ We are building local capacities of farmers across the country for agricultural research and for improved agricultural cropping.
“ We are training farmers on standard agronomic practices for industrial sustainability.”
Ibrahim said that the aim of the programme was to promote the development of sesame, as well as ensure that quality meets local and export requirements.
“The cultivation and harvesting of sesame seeds has to meet international requirements,” he said.
Ibrahim said that sesame was one of the largest contributors of foreign exchange among agricultural products to Nigeria’s economy with about 500,000 tonnes per annum.
Alhaji Ibrahim Alkassim, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, thanked the council for training sesame farmers in the state.
Alkassim said that the state was one of the leading states in the cultivation of sesame in the country.
He said that the training has exposed the farmers to modern agronomic practices and trends which can launch the state to limelight in terms of volume of production of the crop.
“Sesame seeds provide basic raw materials to a lot of industries, including the beverage and confectionery industries in Nigeria.
“Sesame seeds, or beniseeds as they are locally known, are among the most commercially viable crops critical to the agricultural economy of Nigeria,” he said. (NAN)