February 19, 2024

Stakeholders commit to food security in Nigeria with agricultural extension service delivery bill

WOFAN

Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) ICON2 and stakeholders in the legal and agricultural sectors have convened a multi-stakeholder meeting on Revised Draft Agricultural Extension Service Delivery Revitalisation Bill for a fruitful technical discussion and deliberations to move the Draft Agricultural Extension Service Delivery Revitalization Bill from policies into a workable Bill.

The one-day multi stakeholder meeting is to scrutinize and look at the updated version of the Draft Bill to add all the necessary technicalities that would enable its speedy passage in the National Assembly.

Speaking at the One-day Multi Stakeholder Meeting on the Revised Draft Agricultural Extension Service Delivery Revitalization Bill in Abuja, Executive Director of WOFAN-ICON2 Project, Hajiya Salamatu Garba, noted that the bill is expected to identify areas that will help Nigeria bridge food security in order to feed the growing population.

Hajiya Garba said the government approved the agricultural policy which gave an opportunity to WOFAN being funded by MasterCard Foundation to follow up and address the challenges of agricultural extension services. Identifying agriculture as the backbone of economic growth in any nation, Hajiya Salamatu said if the policy is translated into a bill and later to an Act, areas needed to bridge food security in Nigeria will be identified and Nigeria will be able to meet the food needs of its citizens.

Similarly, the Board Chairman of Technical Board of Advisers of WOFAN-ICON 2 project, Professor Sani Miko, noted that the policy accommodated private sector involvement in extension services, while noting that the public sector cannot effectively run extension services. Professor Miko said for sustainability purposes, there is the need to achieve an effective Private/Public partnership.

The Revised Draft Agricultural Extension Service Delivery Revitalization Bill has special focus on some segments of agriculture like ICT-led agriculture, inclusiveness of women and youths, vulnerable groups and the importance of research for development to the agricultural sector.

The stakeholders noted that the agricultural extension service delivery Bill will not override but provide the needed help to concerned government departments to perform optimally, address under funding and understaffed challenges.

They urged government departments to support the Bill in order to strengthen the department for maximum result and development to the agricultural sector. Other key topics raised during the meeting include the need for relevant ministries to be fully involved and the specification of their individual roles in the Bill. The Revised Draft Agricultural Extension Service Delivery Revitalization Bill is an Act to provide a legal framework for a sustainable Agricultural Extension Services, strengthen investment in agriculture and increase agricultural productivity for food security and revenue generation in Nigeria, and for related matters.