Over the weekend, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Muhammad Nanono, inaugurated a technical committee on the revitalisation of extension services workers.
The minister agreed that agricultural development in Nigeria requires an integrated approach to revive extension advisory services after experts and farmers have pointed out extension service as a weak link in the Nigeria agricultural value chain.
In the statement made available on FMARD Facebook page, the programme was for adoption of Good Agricultural Practice and stimulation of Technology in improving food requirements and industrial expectations.
"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," Mr Nanono said at the inauguration while charging the committee to hard work.
"The committee would assist the Ministry in developing a workable framework and actionable Programme for the training of 75,000 extension workers in collaboration with States' Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs)."
Mr Nanono stressed the need to review extension services training modules and practices implemented in Nigeria with a view to making them more effective and efficient.
Responding on behalf of the committee, the director, Extension Services in the Ministry, Frank Kudla, pledged that the committee would work assiduously to deliver on its mandate, which includes:
- To examine proposals submitted and international best practices in extension services and draw key learning points.
- To recommend 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 farmers helpline centre with 6 zonal centers for real time information dissemination, updates, feedbacks, and capacity of farmers and relevant stakeholders.
- To developing mechanisms for the implementation of recommendations, including monitoring and evaluation
- To make other recommendation(s) that would help in fast tracking the complete transformation of extension services in Nigeria.
The technical committee is made up of the following members of the committee include; Frank S. Kudla, Karima I. Babangida, M.K Othman, Director and Sani Miko.
Other resource persons are; Oyebanji O. Olumide, Rose Idi and Umar Wali.