By Ahmed Attahir Gusau
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) has flagged off training of Agricultural Extension agents in Zamfara State.
The aimed of the training was to boost food production and provide skills on the modern technology of 75,000 agric extension agents across the 36 states.
The Minister of Agriculture and rural development Dr Muhammad Mohammood disclosed this on Wednesday in Gusau, Zamfara State capital during the opening ceremony held at Fadama 111 project headquarters in the State.
The Minister explained that the development of agricultural extension services in the Nigeria predates independence,about 120 years ago.
“Since then Agricultural extension has metamorphosed from one stage to another, asserting its importance in rural and semi Urban development,food and job supply for the fast growing population, especially in emerging economies like Nigeria “.
According to the Minister who was represented by the permanent secretary ministry of Agriculture Zamfara State, Alhaji Ibrahim Dannaburgi said Agricultural extension delivery is the driver of all agricultural policies and research”without which all efforts in the agricultural ecosystem may not realize it’s intended goals”.
He said over the years, the fortunes of the Agricultural extension system has declined majorly due to decreased funding, policy changes, reduced manpower and lack of interest of young people in Agricultural entrepreneurship.
He maintained that the training was one of the several strategies planned by the federal ministry of Agriculture and rural development to halt the drift in the agricultural extension system with aimed of pursuing the revitalization agenda of the Nigeria economy by the federal government.
“Every Nigerian desire to see that our Agricultural extension delivery system meets global competitiveness to ensure we have adequate food for our population and some to augment our foreign earnings”.
Earlier in his address, the Director, federal department of Agricultural extension, federal ministry of Agriculture and rural development Engineer Frank Satumari Kuala said the training program was one of the first among several recommendations.
“This program is one of the first among the recommendations of the Special technical committee established by the Honourable Minister to assist the ministry,among other responsibilities to develop a workable framework and actionable programme for the immediate training of 75,000 extension workers in collaboration with states ADP’s”.
The federal director,who was represented by the Zamfara State program Manager ADP Garba Bala disclosed that the training was designed to empower participants with skills in the use of extension delivery methodologies, tools as well as the best global practices in the Agriculture.
According to Programme Manager Zamfara ADP Alhaji Garba Bala disclosed that 40 participants were drawn from Zamfara State.