SMEDAN trains A’ Ibom farmers for global market

By Isaac Job

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has trained farmers in Akwa Ibom on ways to develop their products to match international market standards.

Speaking in Uyo on Friday during a 2-day capacity building programme on products and Marketing Enhancement Scheme (PAMES), Director General of SMEDAN, Mr Olawale Fasanya said the Agency discovered that there is a lack of access to larger international markets by farmers in the state.

Fasanya, who was represented by Mrs Ime Andy, Deputy Director, Agricbusiness Development and Extension Service Department, explained that though the agency has not been mandated to give money, they would continue to facilitate farmers’ access to funds to help boost their businesses.

“Product and Market Enhancement Scheme (PAMES) is an initiative to help the farmers from the farm gate to the market regionally and globally.

“SMEDAN has seen that it has been a problem for entrepreneurs to have market access, locally, regionally, and globally.

“We are here today to expose them to the ways that they can develop their products and enhance them to meet the global market standard.

“We brought in all the stakeholders that can make input into what SMEDAN is doing to ensure product development and market enhancement for SME sub-sector,” Fasanya said.

In her keynote address, the Commissioner for Agriculture in Akwa Ibom, Dr Offiong Offor, commended SMEDAN for coming up with the training.

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Offor, who was represented by Dr Atim Okoko, Director of Fisheries in the ministry said the gesture would mitigate the sufferings of farmers in agricbusiness.

She urged the farmers to take the training techniques received very seriously, adding that their products would be marketable when they take the necessary steps to enhance them.

“This event by SMEDAN is a very welcome one because our farmers work hard without ripping the necessary benefits of their products.

“So, seeing SMEDAN coming to teach the farmers how to enhance their products is very delighting,” Offor said.

One of the participants, Mrs Utibe Akwa who interacted with our Correspondent appreciated SMEDAN for the initiative.

Akwa, who was full of joy said the training was an answered prayer to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state.

Also, Mr Citizen Umoren, said the training was very helpful, especially in the area of seed multiplication.

“I discovered that the traditional method that we have been using in cassava planting is money-consuming and I will leverage the knowledge acquired for maximum yield in the next planting season,” Umoren said.

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