February 15, 2024

Stakeholders push for Agric Extension Delivery Bill

farming-agric

Stakeholders in the agricultural sector have intensified efforts towards pushing for an Agricultural Extension Service Delivery Revitalisation Bill.

Speaking at the multi-stakeholder meeting on Revised Draft Agricultural Extension Service Delivery Revitalisation Bill, Executive Director of Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) ICON2 Project, Hajiya Salamatu Garba, noted that the bill is expected to identify areas that Nigeria can bridge food security in order to feed the growing population.

Garba said the government approved the agricultural policy which gave an opportunity to WOFAN being funded by MasterCard foundation to follow up to address the challenges of agricultural extension services.

Noting that the Federal Government approved the  policy which has been on the table for quite some time, she said it was an opportunity for WOFAN being funded by MasterCard Foundation to follow it up as they are working with farmers and extension workers.

She said; ‘’One of the problems of agricultural activities in Nigeria is not having capable extension workers.

 

 

“So, they need to be supported and this, and this policy if translated into a bill and later to an Act, is going to help us identify areas that we need to bridge food security in Nigeria.

“Like you know, agriculture is the backbone in the economic growth of any country. In Nigeria, to be able to meet the food needs of this nation that is growing by the day, it is very important that we put agriculture at the centre’’.

Furthermore, she said the policy will promote the adoption of technology in extension services targeted at addressing the challenges of health, insecurity and other challenges.

Executive Director, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS),   Professor Ikani Emmanuel, said the Bill will address some of the challenges facing the extension services such as funding and coordination of the system.

“Extension services are actually a game changer if you want to move from traditional crude agriculture to modern agriculture.

“Up till now, extension practices used to be rowdy, it is not coordinated, this policy will solve that problem. Funding extension services has been a problem, we want to see a situation where we will have a national committee that will be in charge of implementing this policy.

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, the private sector must have a key role in extension service delivery.