The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has trained no fewer than 200 coffee farmers in Plateau to boost production and export of the commodity. The one-day capacity building on Production and Processing of Coffee for Export, held on Tuesday in Jos with participants drawn from Riyom and Jos South Local Government Areas of the state. Mr Samson Idowu, the Regional Coordinator of NEPC, who spoke at the event, noted that the workshop had become necessary to boost production of the commodity in the state.
He pointed out that the pro- duction of the commodity was on the decline in Plateau, despite the fertile soil for its production. Idowu said that the workshop was part of efforts at facilitating government’s agenda on diversification of the non-oil sector and to boost export potentials of the country. “This workshop is necessitated by the findings of a sur- vey carried out by the Council some months ago , where it was discovered that the production of coffee in Plateau is on the decline.
“It is in view of the findings and to tackle some of the challenges confronting its pro- duction that we have brought together seasoned experts to engage on strategic enlightenment programmes. “This event is designed to equip coffee farmers, processors, and other stakeholders in the coffee value chain with the necessary skills and knowledge to increase productivity, improve quality, and reduce post- harvest losses,” he said.
The regional coordinator re- iterated the Council’s commitment to the development and diversification of the non-oil sector of the economy, hence the workshop to further promote the “Export for survival” campaign of the Federal Government. Mr Yakubu Elisha, Deputy Chairman Riyom Local Council Area commended NEPC for the training and urged the farmers to take it seriously in order to maximise the gains in the production of the commodity and to meet the export needs of the country. Some beneficiaries at the training expressed gratitude to NEPC for the opportunity, and called on government to assist them with seedlings and funding to help boost production of the commodity.