FG Begins Training Of 1,110 Agric Extension Workers
TECH DIGEST – The opening ceremony for the training of 1,110 agriculture extension agents in all 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory commenced on Monday.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, inaugurated the exercise at the headquarters of the States’ Agricultural Development Projects in Abuja.
He said 30 extension agents each from the 36 states and the FCT were being trained by the Federal Government to realise the country’s agricultural goals.
Nanono said, “The training of agricultural extension agents across the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT is holding in all the 37 headquarters of the state’s Agricultural Development Projects.
“Agricultural extension delivery is the driver of all agricultural policies and research, without which all effort in the agricultural ecosystem may not realise its intended goals.”
He noted that over the years the fortunes of the agricultural extension system had declined majorly due to decreased funding, policy changes, reduced manpower and lack of interest of young people in agricultural entrepreneurship.
“This situation has affected food production exposing the country to the dangers of unemployment, youth restiveness and economic instability,” the minister stated.
He added, “This training is one of several strategies planned by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to halt the drift in the agricultural extension system with the aim of pursuing the revitalisation agenda of the Nigerian economy by the Federal Government.”
Nanono stated that at the inception of the current administration, a special committee on the revitalisation of agricultural extension service in Nigeria was constituted.
He said the committee was to, among other duties, recommend appropriate institutional structures, arrangements and capacity building for the delivery of effective agricultural extension and advisory services in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary, FMARD, Ernest Umakhihe, said one of the key recommendations of the committee was to build the capacity of youths and existing practitioners in agricultural extension delivery system.
He said the ministry’s technical unit, the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, had selected experts to handle the training, as the exercise was first in series of batches.