July 3, 2024

Senate pledges speedy passage of agric extension revitalisation bill

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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture Production and Rural Development, Senator Saliu Mustapha, on Thursday assured stakeholders in the agricultural sector of the speedy passage of the Agriculture Extension Revitalization Bill into law.

Senator Mustapha gave the assurance when he received the draft Agriculture Extension Revitalization Bill in his office at the Red Chamber from stakeholders in the agricultural sector under the umbrella of the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN).

He said that his team would quickly look at the bill, make some necessary adjustments if the need arises, and proceed with the reading on the floor of the Senate, subsequent passage, and presidential assent.

While highlighting the importance of extension services in the agricultural sector, Senator Mustapha commended the stakeholders for coming up with a bill that will reposition agriculture in the country.

“We will also look at it again to see if there is any area that we can touch, but I believe that with the participation of some of my team members, I don’t think we will have anything we will waste time on, so it will just be for us to see how we can quickly move into action in making sure that the bill is being taken to the floor and see how we will get the President to accent to it,” the Senator noted.

While presenting the bill to Senator Mustapha, the Executive Director of WOFAN, Dr. Salamatu Garba, said, “Today we have here the finished product of what we have extracted from the National Agricultural Policy, and we have worked together with multi-stakeholders who have contributed robustly to this programme.

“Today we are happy to say that we have our draft that will be presented to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Production and Rural Development,”  she added.

 

Speaking with journalists on the significance of the bill, the Director of Field Extension Services at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Olawumi Ayodele, said the expectations of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, particularly the Federal Department of Agriculture Extension, are that the agricultural extension delivery system in Nigeria is strengthened.

“Before this time, the Ministry had established the Federal Department of Agriculture extension in 2012; again, we have secured the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval for the agricultural extension policy, but the main thing is to have an agricultural extension revitalization bill, and the process has begun with the cooperation of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the WOFAN Icon 2 Project, and many other stakeholders in preparing this draft bill.

“We will put all our hands on deck to ensure that the bill becomes an act of parliament to drive the Nigerian agricultural extension system,” he added.