Fed Govt To Partner USAID In Training Of Agricultural Extension Workers

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The federal government has offered to partner the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the training of agricultural workers.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, made the proposal at the valedictory project of Market II in Nigeria.

Market II was a development programme funded by USAID since 2012 to assist smallholder farmers and others in the agriculture value chain achieve improved yields.

The US development agency trained 500 extension workers as master trainers in the value chain of agricultural production including, threshing, input sales, bulking services, book-keeping, distribution, tilling and irrigation services.

Ogheh said in order to fix the vacuum the departure of Market II in Nigeria will create, government has approached USAID to undertake the training of value chain and field workers of the ministry.

The minister said the training would subsequently be upscaled to other states of the federation where the ministry will take over so that the benefits will be maximized.

“The federal government appreciates the work by USAID along the value chain in 15 states for farmers and other stakeholders since 2012. Though Market ll is departing the country, this is not the end as USAID will be engaged to help in the training of our farmers,” Ogbeh represented by Dr Fatima Aliyu, a director at the ministry, disclosed.

The USAID Mission Director in Nigeria, Stephen Haykin, said about 1.4 million rural households were engaged by the agecy in agricultural activities since 2012.

Haykin also added during the period, 50 per cent female and 30 percent youth were engaged in farming to promote economic growth.

He said since 2012, N4.9 billion has been invested by the private sector to support Nigeria in attaining economic growth and food security.