From Our Correspondent
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has begun to train 50 Agriculture Extension workers on extension tools, methodologies and selected agricultural value chains in Enugu.
Declaring the three-day training open in Enugu on Wednesday, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said that the training was one of the ministry’s plans to address the drift in the agricultural extension system.
Abubakar, represented by a Regional Director in the ministry, Mr Peter Nworga, said that the training also aimed at pursuing the revitalisation agenda of the Nigerian economy.
He disclosed that agricultural extension delivery remained the driver of all agricultural policies and research.
The minister added that without extension services, all efforts in the agricultural ecosystem may not realise the intended goals.
According to him, the exercise was the third batch of training aimed at empowering extension workers with the knowledge to enhance service delivery to farmers both in terms of production practices and equipment for technical support.
“It is a great pleasure for me to address you today on this auspicious occasion of the opening ceremony of the training of Agricultural Extension Agents across the 36 states and the FCT holding in the 37 states agricultural development projects in Nigeria.
“Dear participants, it is the desire of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and every Nigerian to see that our agricultural extension delivery system meets global competitiveness.
“This will also ensure we have adequate food for our population and some to augment our foreign earnings,” he said.
The Enugu State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Mathew Idu, thanked the Federal Government for providing the platform to train Agric Extension workers consistently in the state.
Idu, represented by a director in the state ministry, Mr Fredrick Ozor, disclosed that farmers cannot do anything in agriculture without the extension workers who do everything to enhance the production of crops.
Earlier, the Project Manager of Enugu State Agricultural Development Programme, (ENADEP), Dr Ogbonna Onyeisi, commended the Federal Government on what they have done so far to increase the production of crops in Nigeria.
Onyeisi assured the state government of commitment to increasing agricultural production, adding that ENADEP had rolled out programmes to visit every local government area in the state to bring out all the challenges they encounter for solutions to them.
“I call farmers my family. They are the people that produce what we eat and with the help of an android phone, we can reach every farmer and solve their problem by helping them to grow their crops without any hitches.
“Those challenges will be no more because we at the ENADEP are ready to take the bull by the horn.
“We are with the farmers and we believe that our governor will recruit more Agric extension workers. We want Agriculture to be the base of revenue for Enugu State,” he said.