The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on Friday advised farmers to prioritise the production of economic crops and trees to tap from the huge potential of export to international market.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the council, Dr Ezra Yakusak, gave the advice while interacting with Southern Kaduna Journalist Forum who visited him in his office in Abuja.
Yakusak said that cultivation of economic trees like cashew and palm trees has a huge export potential and urged farmers to key in and reap the benefits.
He said that the council would provide the needed awareness, technical support, capacity building and tips on how to access the international market through export.
According to him, with economic crops and trees, farmers will make more money through export and use part of the profit to buy food with so much change in the bank.
“Farmers can pool their small farmlands into clusters covering 10 to 20 hectres of land to either cultivate cashew or palm trees to be able to access technical and input supports.
“If the farmers can come together, we will support them with improved seedlings, train them on how to plant, the spacing and provide other technical support to ensure success.
“After that, we will sensitise the farmers on how the produce will be exported to other countries to earn more money and foreign exchange for the country,” he said.
He commended the journalists for partnering with NEPC to create the needed awareness on how to tap from the available opportunities through the export of economic crops.
Earlier, Mr Ango Bally, Chairman of the forum, said that the visit was to congratulate the executive director on his appointment and to offer their support.
Bally explained that the members of the forum were drawn from different local government areas of southern part of Kaduna State, working in reputable media organisations in different parts of the country.
He added that members were working across print, electronics, and online media platforms owned by both government and private individuals or groups.
He said the forum would partner the council to sensitise farmers on how to cultivate economic crops for export.
“We will also sensitise and mobilise farmers and Nigerians to key into the lucrative export business,” Bally said.
The chairman added that Southern Kaduna was producing one of the best ginger species in the world.
He, however, said that middlemen from other parts of the country reap more of the benefits at the expense of the farmers through exports of the commodity to other parts of the world.
He stressed the need for the farmers to be enlightened on how they could make more money in the ginger value chain with focus on export, adding that the journalist forum would help significantly in that regard.