Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Stakeholders Harp on the Need to Revive Agricultural Extension

Researchers and farmers have called on the government at all levels to revive the moribund agricultural extension departments in each state of the federation, to improve agricultural productivity in the country through reduction in the communication gaps between farmers and researchers.

Researchers and farmers have called on the government at all levels to revive the moribund agricultural extension departments in each state of the federation, to improve agricultural productivity in the country through reduction in the communication gaps between farmers and researchers.

Prof. Shehu Garki Ado, a grain breeder who is also a visiting professor with the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, noted that resuscitating extension services is important to achieving the food self-sufficiency in Nigeria, as well as surplus for export to earn foreign exchange.

The current ratio of extension agents to farmers in Nigeria is between 1:5000 and 1:10 000, which is a great deficit to 1:800 recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

FG Trains 1,100 Extension Workers to Boost Agricultural Productivity

As part of efforts to increase the ratio, the government announced it will employ 100,000 young graduates as extension officers through the N-Power program and announced the plan to hire 75,000 additional extension service workers in March 2021, but nothing has been done.

According to Ado, shelves of various research institutes are full of many concluded agricultural research results that are yet to reach the farmers for improvement of agricultural production, due to inadequate extension officers.

Federal Government Inaugurates Committee on Revitalization of Extension Services

The Provost, Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology (FCAH&PT), Dr Olatunde Owosibo, on his own said extension services are the root of rural development and means of boosting food production, explaining that extension services are means of propagating new technologies on food production to farmers to improve food production and reduce inflation.

The Director, Extension and Linkage, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, Lagos, Dr ’Dele Oyeku, also added his own thought that extension officers are the professionals responsible for getting the developed technologies to the farmers.

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