IBUSA – Mr Richard Asenime, Programme Manager, Delta State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), has decried the inadequacy of personnel and vehicles to rich out to farmers in the state.
Asenime told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibusa, Delta, on Sunday that the challenges of mobility and personnel had affected ADP’s ability to deliver extension services to farmers.
The manager said it was ADP’s responsibility to educate farmers on modern methods of farming and to monitor their activities over time to ensure that they did the right thing.
According to him, the programme is organised in such a way that each ADP is divided into cells and each cell is to be monitored by one extension agent.
“So, in Delta we have 200 cells and these cells ordinarily should have 200 extension agents but as I speak with you, we have a little above 80 extension officers.
“Our programme is statewide and we are supposed to visit every farmer as part of our extension services to educate them on the latest farming methods and applications.
“With these shortages, the potential of reaching all the farmers is not there, so, we are looking for more extension workers to ease our job,” he said.
He said the population of registered farmers in the state was high and that the Federal Government through its Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) was carrying out enumeration of farmers in the states.
Mr Felix Kehis, State Director of Federal Government’s ATA and Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES), said no fewer than 204, 000 farmers had registered in Delta since its inception.
Asenime said the programme was a mobile one and commended the Federal Government for the complementary role it played in providing 22 motorcycles for the extension workers.
He said that extension services were very important to government policy on agriculture because it increased productivity as well as alleviated poverty. (NAN)