The EXECUTIVE Director, Institute for Agricultural and Rural Management Studies (ARMTI), Ilorin, Dr. Olufemi Oladunni, confirmed the importance of agricultural extension officers in the country's agricultural development.
Oladunni said this during the flag weekly value-chain management curriculum program, which was attended by about 50 participants, including assistant directors / area extension managers (from all agricultural development programs (ADPs) and relevant NGOs).
The executive director said knowledge officers are key players in the mobilization mechanism for the most remote in agriculture.
“You are the fulcrum on which everything depends, if we hope to achieve any form of success in this mission,” he said.
He also said that some of the functions of information dissemination officers imply the mobilization of interested parties, such as manufacturers, processors, marketers, and even consumers, in order to unite in their work to ensure food security, provide employment and increase incomes.
“You are the ones who sustain and extend the chain, passing the baton to many others in your respective zones, which, in turn, will extend it further,” he said.
Dr. Oladunni said that both value chain development coordinators (VCDs) and distribution officers should coordinate to unlock the tremendous potential of a value chain-based approach in each state of the federation through an appropriate strategy. funding and all necessary support.
“You will mobilize stakeholders, producers, processors, marketers, and even consumers to unite in their work to ensure food security, provide employment and increase incomes. You are the ones who will maintain and expand the chain, passing the baton to many others in your respective zones, which in turn will expand it.
“Thus, this new driving force would capture the nation, and immediate and final effects would be clearly visible. So, I want you to know that there is a lot on you, and therefore you must face this new task with this mindset, ”he said.
The executive director of ARMTI, who said that the federal government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is firmly committed to putting agriculture in the right position, added that the government will improve the program until the influence falls into the lower regions of the country.
He also said that the main task of the government is to ensure improvement of food security in the country and employment opportunities for the country's swelling youth.
Dr. Oladunni, who praised the Minister and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for their unshakable faith in ARMTI and for agreeing to the approval of the program, also appreciated the contribution of Professor Dolapo Lufadey, who , was in the program as an ARMTI consultant from the very beginning, among other leading consultants.
In separate interviews, some participants in the training program welcomed initiatives, saying that it has the potential to ensure food security and employment opportunities to increase agricultural productivity in most parts of the country.