By Ahmed Ahmed
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) has trained 60 hibiscus farmers on post harvest handling techniques and integrated pest disease management as well as empowered 100 farmers each with farm inputs in Bauchi State.
Mr Abdullahi Abubakar, Director Federal Department of Agriculture, stated this at the opening ceremony of the workshop on Wednesday in Bauchi.
He said the programme would assist in reducing post-harvest losses and as well as the adoption improve production integrated pest and disease management (IPM) by the farmers.
“At least 100 farmers were empowered with a park of farm inputs that comprises crop growth enhancer, improved seeds and pesticides.
Our correspondent reports that the Workshop is with the theme “Adoption of Improved Production Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPM) and Post Harvest Handling Techniques,”
Abubakar, represented by Mrs Oje-Imoje Linda of Horticulture Division FMAFS, said hibiscus is effective for treatment of common cold, prevention of constipation, weakness, healthy pregnancy, and maintains healthy teeth and gums.
“Possesses anticancer and anti-hypertensive property, lowers blood sugar levels, and has anti-depress properties, slowing down aging as it contains anti-aging properties leaves aids in detoxification of the body and reduction of cholesterol levels”. Said Abubakar.
According to him, the sterling qualities and benefits of this crop underscored the reasons why the Ministry has been promoting its Value Chain since 2019.
“Thus, the objectives of Hibiscus value chain are to Promote sustainable production, processing and marketing of roselle in Nigeria to create wealth and job.
“Achieve self-sufficiency in domestic consumption and export to generate foreign exchange and increase local consumption to optimise the utilisation of its myriads of health benefits.
The Director urged farmers to ask some pertinent questions about what contribution Hibiscus would make to Nigeria’s development, welfare of its people, its resources, environments and the security in general.
Earlier, State Director, FMAFS Mr Daniel Abarshi said the objective of the workshop was to encourage self-reliance, self-employment, and productivity among farmers.
He stressed the need to bring together relevant farmers to create awareness on potential of the crop and policy implementation strategy.
“To develop the industry, harmonise the coordination and operation of the sub sector participation and chart the way forward for the development of the industry,” he said.
Abarshi urged the trainees to step down what they have learnt to others in their respective areas.
One of the trainees, Mr Mustapha Shehu, state Chairman Hibiscus Farmers and marketers Association of Nigeria commended FMAFS for sensitisation of farmers on hibiscus farming.
He assured that they would make best use of what they have learnt and train other farmers in their respective communities.