The Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has embarked on a training of Agricultural Extension Workers in Kano to empower them with knowledge and skills to enhance service delivery to farmers in production practices and equipment for technical support.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the minister of Agriculture, Dr Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar said the training, is under the ministry’s commitment to provide capacity building for the delivery of effective and efficient agricultural extension and advisory services in Nigeria using globally acceptable approaches and platforms.
Represented by the Kano State Director of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alh. Abba Gana Yamani, the Minister said the Ministry, in its mission to train 75, 000 extension workers across the country as one of the key recommendations was to build the capacity of youth and existing practitioners in agricultural extension delivery system.
“It is the desire of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and let me add, every Nigerian desires 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. Therefore, I urge you to consider this training very important,” he said.
On his part, the Director, Federal Department Extension of Agricultural Extension, Engnr. Frank Satumari Kudla said that factors causing the decline in the national agricultural extension delivery system include the decreasing number of Extension Agents caused by retirements, deaths and non-replacements.
He also said youth unwillingness to embrace agricultural entrepreneurship, poor capacity of existing extension agents to deliver due to lack or low quality of training, and the general poor funding of the sub-sector has also contributed to the menace.
According to him, “It is in recognition of these facts, that the Department deliberated on the recommendations of the committee established by the HMA and got approval for the commencement of the first batch of training of Extension Agents.
He added that the training is designed to empower participants with skills in the use of extension delivery methodologies and tools, as well as the best global practices in the agricultural value chains, as chosen by each state.
The Managing Director, Kano Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA), Dr Junaidu Yakubu appreciated the Federal government for the training, adding that the training will be taken forward to other extension workers in the state to have effective delivery.