In an effort to shore up food production to optimal levels, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment towards improving agricultural extension services.
According to the information contained in the press statement issued by the Ministry’s Chief Information Officer, Mr Ezeaja Ikemefuna, today December 2, 2020, Alhaji Nanono made this disclosure while delivering his address at the Sensitisation Workshop on Revitalisation of Agricultural Extension in Nigeria, tagged: “Catalysing Effective Agricultural Extension Service Delivery at the Grassroots”.
According to a news report by NAN, Alhaji Nanono disclosed that the ministry had taken full responsibility and also renewed its commitment to increase the contribution of agriculture to the GDP through the revitalization of agricultural extension service.
He explained that the revitalization of the National Extension System comes as a veritable means to boost the nation’s efforts in food production. This, however, is expected to increase agricultural sector contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The minister, who was represented by Mr. Frank Kudla, the Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, tasked stakeholders on key areas for robust discussions at the workshop. He urged the stakeholders to bring up innovations that would foster and encourage aggressive training of necessary manpower, as this would shore up professionalism in agricultural extension services.
Nanono stressed the need for incentives that would foster and encourage the mobilisation and development of farmer groups around clusters to enhance agricultural extension services delivery to them through the Agric Extension Service Providers (AESP).
What they are saying
The Director of the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, Mr. Frank Kudla speaking on behalf of the Minister said:
“There is a need to recommend a favourable policy environment for active private sector investment in the management, operation and funding of extension service delivery as the government alone can not shoulder the responsibility of supporting effective extension service delivery.
“These include redefining the roles and responsibilities of the three tiers of government in the agricultural extension services and establishment of evaluation strategy with possible reprisal for actors that fail in their responsibilities in order to ensure accountability and commitment.
“This I believe will make the extension system knowledge-based and a desirable service to be patronised by farmers.”