A five day training programme for girls and women in cassava processing, packaging and marketing has commenced in Abia State as part of the efforts of the Federal Government to empower women that play vital roles in agriculture and fight against marginalization of the female gender.
The programme which is holding at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike is organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with Growing Girls and Women( G- WIN) in Nigeria Initiative.
Participants for the workshop were drawn from Akwa Ibom State, Imo State, Lagos State, Edo State and Abia, the host State.
The emphasis is on the production of cassava, its processing and how to make income out of the business otherwise known as value addition using the female gender.
The Vice chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Professor Hilary Edeoga, while declaring the workshop open, pointed out that the introduction of value addition into cassava will reduce waste of cassava and convert it to other user products.
In their separate speeches, the Acting Director, Centre for Gender and Child Development, of the Institution, Mrs. Georgina Edeoga and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Echono, said the workshop will enhance comprehension, quick understanding and retention of key production concepts that will facilitate speedy and effective establishments of private cassava processing enterprises in the localities of the graduate trainees.
While delivering a paper on "Cassava processing, packaging and marketing,value addition to cassava", Professor of Human Nutrition Dietetics, Ada Uwaegbute stated that some of the initiatives that could add value and impact positively on nutrition include selective breeding of nutrient rich cassava, and complementation with other crops.