The Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have highlighted the benefits of having a functional agricultural extension in advancing agricultural productivity.
The stakeholders also said that extension service would ensure technology transfer from the extension workers to the Farmers, especially in the rural areas.
The stakeholders made this known at a Sensitisation Workshop on Revitalisation of Agricultural Extension in Nigeria with the theme ‘Catalyzing Effective Agricultural Extension Service Delivery at the Grassroots’.
Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, Permanent Secretary FMARD, in his welcome address said that the agricultural extension system would enable farmers to effectively utilize improved technologies and innovation to enhance agricultural output.
He said it was important to strengthen agricultural extension system to support farmers to improve the productivity of 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.
Engr Frank Kudla, Director Federal Department of Agricultural Extension (FDAE) said the department was established in Dec 2012 to provide leadership, coordination, quality control and assurance for overall effective delivery of agricultural extension services in Nigeria.
He said 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 to increase the productivity of agriculture and livelihood standards of farmers in Nigeria.
“In the midst of lean resources, 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 through the establishment of the National.
“The cooperation and assistance of partners are solicited for all of us to move agricultural extension service to a greater height, where its objectives will be achieved,” he added.
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He said one significant effort to drive the implementation of the renewed policy direction was the FDAE which oversees, monitor and provides the leadership needed for an efficient and effective agricultural extension and advisory service delivery in Nigeria.
He further said: “The challenges of Nigeria’s agricultural extension and advisory services have been itemised to include: lack of legislated agricultural extension policy, issues of policy somersaults in the sector; grossly inadequate and untimely funding; poor leadership and coordination, low private sector participator, a very weak Research-Extension-Farmer-Input linkages system including ineffective top-down, supply-driven, extension approaches.
“We are moving the system towards the demand-responsive extension system/approaches while promoting veritable and proven tools that will ensure the delivery of efficient and effective agricultural extension and advisory services.”