Training of trainers in Organic Agriculture, Principles, Practices and Entrepreneurship (ToT) has been an annual programme conducted by Nigeria Go Organic Project, under the auspices of the Association of Organic Agriculture practitioners of Nigeria for some years. The aim of this event is to provide capacity building in the area of organic agriculture in order to have able hands handle organic agriculture activities in the country. Organic farming is still relatively a new concept in Nigeria which is knowledge intensive. The training has three stages; online class, contact class and practical period. The trainees are expected to step down the training, with the aim of spreading the knowledge to others.
The training programme has been organized in such a way to provide opportunity for all interested people across the country to participate, hence, it comes up three times a year across different regions in Nigeria. In the year 2019, the contact class of ToT in the southwest was hosted by National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan between August 19 and 23, 2019. Participants included farmers in crop and livestock production, intended organic caterer and researchers. The total number of participants was eleven (from Oyo and Ekiti States). The opening ceremony was chaired by the Executive director of NIHORT, Dr. A.A. Olaniyan and closing ceremony by his representative.
The second contact class of ToT for the year took place in Abia State and hosted by Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike. The opening and closing ceremonies were attended by the Chairman, Extension Services and the HOD Extension of the Institution. The participants which were 12 in number comprised of farmers, Agricultural extension officers, and researchers from Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom States.
The last contact class of ToT in 2019 took place in the northern region of the country and held between October 28 and November 1. The event was hosted by the Federal University of Kashere, Gombe State. The training had 14 participants in attendance; nine from the host institution, two from Federal College of Horticulture, Dadinkowa, two farmers from Gombe and a farmer from Jos. The opening ceremony was attended by the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the host university, who represented the Vice Chancellor. Also present were Dean and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, representative of the Provost, Federal College of Horticulture, Dadinkowa, representative of ADP Program Manager, Directors in the Federal University of Kashere and many members of staff and students. During the closing, the Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Kashere, commended the efforts of the Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria for organising the Training. According to him, he realized the importance of such training considering the ecological and health implications of conventional agriculture globally; the main reason the University jumped at the opportunity. Having sponsored eight members of staff for the training, he promised to follow up maximising the training acquired by his staff to make the University a Center of Excellence for Organic farming. He promised to set up a committee for the follow up and emphasis the desire to carry along the farmers in Kashere community.
Testimonies of the trainees of the Training of Trainers (ToT) in Organic Agriculture, Principles, Practices and Entrepreneurship abound; revealing continuous impact of the annual event. Thus, practitioners of organic agriculture in the country and other stakeholders are enjoined to look forward to the announcement for the ToT schedule for the year 2020.