Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has inaugurated a technical committee to revive extension service workers, stating that agricultural development in Nigeria requires an integrated approach to boast extension advisory services.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Sabo Nanono, who spoke during the inauguration in Abuja at the weekend, explained that the programme would stimulate technology adoption and embed Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) towards improving food requirements and industrial expectations.
The team is made up of Frank Kudla, Karima Babangida, Prof M Othman, Prof Sani Miko, Rose Idi, Dr Oyebanji O Olumide and Umar Wali, mostly sourced from the Ministry.
In a statement, Nanono urged the committee ‘to design a system of training agricultural extension workers in the next 2 years and to recommend measures for the upgrading and retooling of extension training institutions across the country.’
He added that the committee would assist the Ministry to develop a workable framework and actionable programme for the training of 75,000 extension workers in collaboration with States’ Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs).
The minister stressed the need to review extension services training modules and practices implemented in Nigeria with a view to making them more effective and efficient.
Team Chair Frank Kudla pledged that the committee would work assiduously to deliver on its mandate.
He said the terms of reference would be to examine proposals submitted and international best practices in extension services and draw key learning points.
‘To recommend an immediate actionable model of training of 75,000 extension workers in 2020.
‘To develop a workable framework for engaging and working with the states in the continuous training and retraining of extension services workers.
‘To recommend how to integrate and use the national farmer’s helpline centre with 6 zonal centres for real-time information dissemination, updates, feedbacks, and capacity of farmers and relevant stakeholders.
‘To develop mechanisms for the implementation of recommendations, including monitoring and evaluation
‘To make other recommendation that would help in fast-tracking the complete transformation of extension services in Nigeria.’