Abeokuta — Extension workers in Ogun State have been charged to update their knowledge on HIV/AIDS particularly, its mode of transmission and prevention, so that they can transfer prevention messages to farmers to prevent a depletion in agricultural production.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Engr. Ayo Olubori, gave this charge in Abeokuta while declaring open a two-day Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop on HIV/AIDS prevention for field extension workers held at the State Agricultural Development Program (OGADEP).
Olubori, who highlighted the negative effects of HIV/AIDS on agricultural production and food security to include reduction in farm output due to sickness and death, enjoined the extension workers to see and take responsibility for appropriate actions on HIV/AIDS as it affects the agricultural sector as an integral part of their official schedule.
"As part of Ogun State's collective responsibility to support the multi-sectored response to HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country, it is your responsibility as field extension workers to, in addition to your official schedule, take appropriate actions on HIV/AIDS as it affects the agricultural sector of the state, particularly the rural areas where you work directly with farmers through the training and visit system of extension," he said.
Earlier, the Programmes Manager of OGADEP, Mr. Ibikunle Onasanya, stated that the need to challenge and reduce the spread of the disease had become relevant in the agriculture sector because it employs a greater percentage of people in Ogun State and the country at large.
Onasanya added that with agriculture driving the transformation agenda of government at both federal and state levels, one method being used by government to mitigate the scourge of the disease in the country is the structure the agricultural development programmes provides to meet with farmers, assist and educate them on its prevention and management.