By Joy Akinsanya
Abeokuta – The Federal Government says it has trained more extension workers on modern service delivery in the country to achieve food sufficiency.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Muhammad Abubakar, said this while declaring open a training programme for more extension workers on Tuesday in Abeokuta.
Abubakar said the training was done in collaboration with the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services.
Abubakar, who was represented by Mr Ganiyu Oseni, a Director in the ministry, said similar training was ongoing in all the 36 states of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The minister observed that extension services had declined over the years and should be revived to boost the nation’s economy.
Abubakar said that the training was the third in the series aimed at empowering extension officers with the knowledge that would help the local farmers and make the youth interested in agricultural entrepreneurship,
He said the Federal Government desired adequate food supply such as rice, palm oil, goat and sheep for the people to aid foreign earnings.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina lauded FMARD for putting measures in place to bridge the gap between extension workers’ services and the local farmers.
Odedina, who was represented by Dr Dotun Sorunke, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said it was high time the state employed over 100 extension officers to augment the existing ones.
Odedina charged the participants to imbibe the ongoing reforms in the state, which included the Farmers’ Digital Registration and Agricultural Land Allocation Management Portal.
The commissioner said the reform would enable an electronic database of farmers in the state, as well as the electronic application and allocation of farmlands.
“Knowledge they say is power. You can’t impart others if you don’t have the skill.
“Some of you will be co-opted to be part of it as you are closest to the farmers and know the terrain,” Odedina said.
One of the participants, Mr Fayomi Kolawole, who represented Ikenne and Remo-North local governments, expressed delight for the training.
He promised to extend the knowledge gained during the training to farmers in his community. (NAN)