RMRDC, ISDB train 50 farmers on fruits, vegetable processing




The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), have trained over 50 farmers and food processors on fruit and vegetable processing.

NAN reports that the trainers are Dr Asif Ahmad and Dr Rai Muhammad from the Institute for Food & Nutritional Sciences (IFNS) and Arid Agric University in Pakistan.

It is a five-day capacity building training held at the RMRDC Headquarters, Abuja.

Mrs Asabe Mustapha, the Coordinator of the RMRDC/ISDB reverse linkage program who spoke with NAN, noted that agriculture plays a vital role in our economy.

She added that the fruit and vegetables sector holds immense potential for economic growth and prosperity.

She said the primary mandate of RMRDC is to foster self-reliance by optimizing the utilization of local raw material resources for sustainable industrial growth and advancement within Nigeria.

“Noteworthy programs of the Council include annual distribution of improved agricultural seeds to farmers through farmers’ associations, capacity building initiatives for best agricultural practices.”

She also said RMRDC collaborates with relevant institutions to develop new and improved varieties of agricultural seeds.

“There are several challenges that hinder our agricultural progress, and it is our responsibility to address them collectively.

“That is why the Council is collaborating with the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) to enhance capacity development in the fruits and vegetables value chain she said.

She said the program will increase awareness and interest in fruit juice concentrate production, reduce the need for importation and enhance competitiveness in the fruit industry.

“The training focuses on fruit juice concentrates, including but not limited to orange, pineapple, mixed fruit, apple, red grape, mango, and guava concentrates.

“This training also concentrates on efficient transportation of fresh fruits, storage while preserving the essential nutrients and flavours of the fruit and reducing wastage,” she said.

NAN reports that the trainees were drawn from the Abuja chamber of Commerce, farmers and food processors associations, the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, and small scale industries, amongst others.

They were extensively trained in loss reduction technology, value addition, packaging systems, and supply chain management.