Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Nanono has inaugurated the technical committee on the revitalization of extension services, asserting that agricultural development in Nigeria requires an integrated approach in order to revive extension advisory services.
Speaking at the inauguration in Abuja, Nanono noted that the programe would stimulate technology adoption and instill good agricultural practices to improving food security and industrial expectations.
The minister directed the committee “to design a system of training agricultural extension workers in the next two years and to recommend measures for the upgrading of extension training institutions across the country.”
Nanono emphasized that it would be necessary to review extension services training modules as well as the practices implemented in Nigeria in order to make them more effective and efficient.
He stressed that the committee, in collaboration with States’ Agricultural Development Projects, would aid the ministry in developing a viable framework and actionable programe for training of 75,000 extension workers.
Extension workers will offer support to traditional, mostly illiterate rural households, providing them with technical advice not only on agricultural technologies but on relevant subjects like farm input supply, credit, marketing and farm management.
Though, Nigeria had an impressive infrastructure for agricultural extension established with World Bank funding in the 1980s, it has since suffered from a severe lack of funding and coordination in times of both economic growth and recession.
It is expected that the committee put in place will help to revamp agricultural extension services in the country.
Meanwhile, Frank Kudla, director extension services and chairman of the committee, pledged that its members would work diligently to deliver on their mandate.