The Federal Government of Nigeria in partnership with Sasakawa Africa Association have granted N200 million to five states to train 5000 agricultural extension workers.
Also 800 motorcycles were distributed to agricultural extension agents across the country.
The five pilot states include: Katsina, Ogun, and Anambra, Benue, and Cross River state.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina stated these in Abuja at the launch of the motorcycles.
According to the Minister, the performance of the agricultural extension service had previously been impaired by poorly trained staff, lack of funding to pay for agricultural extension services, lack of synergies with donor supported projects and use of predominantly top-down, non-participatory approaches.
The Agricultural extension service will ensure efficient collaboration between the research institutes and farmers in tune with global demands and ICT driven advanced agriculture to boost food security, wealth creation and make Nigeria a global player in global food market.
He said: “What is needed today is a highly knowledgeable extension service that is able to support farmers from the farm to the mill and to the market while taking cognizance of global demands, modern service inputs, and climate change demands.”
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote noted that so far 10.6 million farmers had registered under the present Agricultural Transformation Agenda. These farmers were meant to be serviced with the extension delivery support as individuals, cooperative, or farmers’ group.
Agricultural extension is the prime vehicle for bringing technological innovation to farmers for sustainable development and improved quality of life. A performing Agricultural extension service is therefore expected to improve geometrically agricultural production and other value chain activities.
More on Agric extension services in later posts