Moniya Farm: The Dominican Agricultural Project in Nigeria

Picture: 
Moniya Farm: The Dominican Agricultural Project in Nigeria
Body: 

The Dominican Centre for Human Resources development (Moniya Farm) has been in operation for two and a half decades. The Centre, under the Directorship of Bro. Fortunatus Okeke, is into integrated farming, training, consultancy, and farm set-up. The Centre practices integrated farming on her 98 hectares of farm land, cutting across livestock farming, crop production, fishery, Poultry, snail rearing/farming, forestry etc. Its primary aim is, therefore, a strategic grass-root socio-economic empowerment of the poor, poverty reduction, job creation, capacity building, and human resources development.

The Centre's Farm Establishment Policy underlines the interplay between food, health and nutrition. Therefore, it seeks to offer Nigerians food crops that have high nutritional values. This informs the Centre's choice for crops like Vitamin A cassava, plantain, corn and tree plants like Moringa Olifera.

The Different Units of the Centre Livestock: The Dominican Centre's livestock unit consists of the following departments: Fishery, Poultry, Heliculture and Rabbitry. The fishery unit has a section for hatching, vats (large tanks/tubs) for different stages of the fish life cycle, two large earthen ponds and a mini pond. The fishery units offer for sale: fingerlings, and table-size catfish, both alive and dried/smoked. The poultry unit houses birds of different species, these include: pullets, broilers, turkeys and guinea fowl. The heliculture (snail rearing/farming) houses two species of snails, they are Archachatina marginata and Archatina Archatina.

Crop Production: In its vast expanse of land, the Dominican Centre excels in crop production such as cassava, plantain, banana, maize, sweet potatoes, etc. Medicinal crops such as Moringa Olifera are also in abundance in the Centre. There are also the Nursery/Seed System, Screen House Farming and Best-bet agronomy practices.

Farm fresh Mart: The centre prides herself in the processing, packaging, sales and delivery of vitamin A rich farm fresh produce, of livestock and crop production. These products are displayed for sale at the Farm Fresh Mart of the Centre.

Value addition and mechanization: The Centre also deals in sale of farm tools and equipment upgrade, modern processing and packaging machines, Agro-chemicals, tractor operations/handling. Horticulture Unit: This unit has a wide variety of exotic flowers for sale and for the beautification of the Centre. Administrative Building: The admin building has the offices of the Director/Chaplin, executive secretary/Projects & Seminars, training Coordinator, the ICT office, and the office for the Priests and Religious Farmers Association of Nigeria (PARFAN) founded by the Director of the Centre.

Those who come to the Centre for tutorials, seminars, workshops, farmers' field day or exhibition use the hostel accommodation in the Centre; enjoy the delicious farm-fresh meals and care; enjoy a facility visit to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and the research presence of both IITA and Harvest Plus. The Centre also provides training supports by networking and bonding participants. In addition, the Centre organizes training for farm owners, farm supervisors, farm managers, investors, unemployed graduates etc., and it seeks to build a bridge between Agricultural research institutes and rural farmers.

In addition to partnering with IITA, Songhai Centre, Porto Novo, Republic of Benin, and Harvest Plus, the Dominican Centre is affiliated with the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Research, (CEDR), University of Nigeria, Nsukka, for the award of National diploma in Agriculture. No doubt, the Dominican Centre is a laudable project, let us do well to promote our own Moniya Farm initiative by patronising it and encouraging other people to do same.

 

(09 November 2016)