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NIHORT inaugurates plantain, banana platform in Edo

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NIHORT inaugurates plantain, banana platform in Edo

By Nefishetu Yakubu

The National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) on Tuesday in Benin inaugurated the plantain and banana innovation platform with the aim of improving the productivity of the value chain.

The institute’s executive director, Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, said the platform was designed for farmers to learn new innovations in plantain and banana production in Edo.

Olaniyan, represented by project coordinator Dr Ifeoluwapo Amao, said Edo is one of the largest plantain and banana producers in the country, hence the creation of the platform.

Innovation platforms are spaces for learning and change of a participatory nature.

“The institute, as part of entering the growth plan for economic recovery from the federal government, has 10 institutional projects covering different staple crops to meet various challenges of national interest.

“One of them is project 7 which deals with certain horticultural innovation platforms.

“Plantains and bananas as crops of national importance have enormous health and economic potential,” he said.

According to him, plantation / banana is the third staple food and a raw material for industries.

“It is used for the production of various value-added products such as baby food, bread, cookies, etc.

“Its peels are used as feed for cattle. The dried peels and stems are used for soap production.

“The dried leaves, sheath and petiole are used as covering and binding material while the leaves are used as food packaging material,” he said.

In addition, the deputy project coordinator, Dr Oluyemisi Adewale, said plantains and bananas were of paramount importance in the south of the country.

“It has been identified as a potential for foreign exchange,” Adewale added.

According to him, the innovation platform has been recognized as a way to improve agricultural and horticultural development among farmers, processors and input suppliers, among others.

In his remarks, Mr. Friday Oduware, a farmer, thanked the institute for the inauguration of the platform and added that it would create more opportunities for farmers in the state. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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