By Bukola Adewumi
Abuja, Dec. 2, 2020 Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have highlighted the benefits of having a functional agricultural extension in advancing agriculture to boost productivity.
The stakeholders also said that extension service would ensure technology transfer from the extension workers to the farmers, especially in the rural areas.
They made this known on Tuesday in Abuja at a sensitisation workshop on Revitalisation of Agricultural Extension in Nigeria with the theme ‘Catalysing Effective Agricultural Extension Service Delivery at the Grassroots’.
Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), said that agricultural extension system would enable farmers to effectively utilize improved technologies and innovation to enhance agricultural output.
He said that it was important to strengthen agricultural extension system to support farmers to improve productivity in their farms.
According to him, participants would be enlisted as part of the supporters and advocates to foster effective agricultural extension service delivery in Nigeria.
Mr Frank Kudla, Director Federal Department of Agricultural Extension (FDAE), said the department was established in December 2012 to provide leadership, coordination, quality control and assurance for agricultural extension services in Nigeria.
He said that the strategy is to partner with actors and stakeholders in the national agricultural extension system to provide efficient services in a complementary and mutually reinforcing manner.
He stated that this would increase the productivity of agriculture and livelihood standards of farmers in Nigeria.
“The Department since its inception, alongside its partners have concentrated on improving the knowledge base of farmers, providing mobility for extension agents, increasing access to productivity tools and providing pluralistic extension delivery system.”
He said one significant effort to drive the implementation of the renewed policy direction was the FDAE which oversees and monitor.
He said “the challenges of Nigeria’s agricultural extension and advisory services has been itemized to include: lack of legislated agricultural extension policy, issues of policy somersaults in the sector and grossly inadequate and untimely funding”.