FG to establish extension offices in 774 LGAs to boost food production
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has disclosed that the Federal government plans to establish extension offices in each of the 774 local government areas of the country as part of renewed effort to boost food production.
He stated during an inspection tour of the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) and the National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaisons Services (NAERLS) at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on Friday.
Ogbeh who will also visit the National Animal Production and Research Institute (NAPRI) as well as Division of Agricultural Colleges (DAC) said that establishing the extension offices in each LGA would help in disseminating information about new researches to farmers.
“We want extension workers to teach farmers what to do in their own local language; tell them how to farm by simplifying research findings in their native languages. Extension services in Nigeria had almost collapsed with the end of Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), today, we have little or no extension services in states.
“We have no capacity to teach our farmers how to plant even the most elementary crop like maize, hence the need to revitalise the services of extension workers across Nigeria,” he said while identifying lack of traditional seeds being used by Nigerian farmers as responsible for poor yields.
The Vice-Chancellor of ABU, Prof. Ibrahim Garba observed that agriculture was driven by technology and technology was brought through research.
He restated the commitment of the University to support federal government’s policies and programmes towards achieving economic diversification policy.
The Director of IAR, Prof. Ibrahim Umar-Abubakar vouched that the agric complex of ABU had no rival in terms of human and material capacity.