Dodoma — THE government will continue to employ trained extension workers until each of the 15,082 villages round the country get one.
This was said in the National Assembly by the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr Adam Kighoma Malima, while responding to a question from Ms Felister Aloyce Bura (Special Seats - CCM). Ms Bura had wished to know when the government would post a sufficient number of extension workers to Dodoma Region to enlighten farmers on the best methods of growing cashew nut, sun flower and sesame.
Mr Malima said that the State envisages training more extension workers and that the scheme is already underway. He said that the current initiative has culminated with the employment of 7,974 extension workers as compared to 3,379 in 2007. The new figure, the deputy minister said, reflects an increase of 918 extension officers a year on average.
He said that there is a presence of 1,514 certificate holders who missed out on jobs in 2011/12 and a further 1,000 youths who completed agriculture training last June. He said that Dodoma Region has 263 extension workers in wards and villages.
The region needs a total of 742 extension workers. This being the case, the region has a shortage of 479 extension workers. In order to seal the gap, the councils in the region expect to employ 75 extension workers this fiscal year.