The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has called for reviews on ways and means to redress the gap in the dearth of female Extension Workers in Nigeria, Daily Times reports.
Speaking during a Sensitization Workshop on ”Revitalization of Agricultural Extension in Nigeria” on Tuesday, December 1 in Abuja, said the review to address the gap in the dearth of female Extension Workers will enhance access towards knowledge and productive resources by women farmers.
The minister also reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment towards improving agricultural extension services, boost food production and increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Agric sector.
Nanono, represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, Engr. Frank Kudla, said that the agricultural sector has been identified by government as key for economic recovery and social transformation particularly in the effort to attain national food security, diversifying foreign earnings base of the country, improving rural livelihood as well as providing employment for the teeming young Nigerians.
Nanono stated that the Ministry has taken the onerous responsibility and renewed its commitment to increase agriculture contribution to the GDP ‘’the revitalization of the National Extension System comes as a veritable means to further boost our efforts’’
The Minister tasked the stakeholders on some key areas for robust discussions at the workshop. These include” redefining the roles and responsibilities of the three tiers of government in the agricultural extension services and establishment of evaluation strategy with possible reprisal for actors that fail in their responsibilities in order to ensure accountability and commitment’’.
The Minister also stated the need for participants to; recommend a favorable policy environment for active private sector investment in the management, operation and funding of extension service delivery as the Government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of supporting effective extension service delivery.
He urged the stakeholders to, ‘’ bring up innovations that will foster and encourage aggressive training of necessary manpower and ensure professionalism in agricultural extension services ,this I believe will make the extension system knowledge based and a desirable service to be patronized by farmers’’.
He pointed out the need for incentives that will foster and encourage the mobilization and development of farmer groups around clusters to enhance agricultural extension services delivery to them through the Agric. Extension Service Providers (AESP).