Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, says government is set to revitalise agriculture extension services in the country.
The minister spoke in Abuja during the FGN/IFAD Assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), Commodity Alliance Forum 2018 (CAF), with the theme “Partnership for enhancing productivity and marketing for sustainable agri-business.”
He said the move became imperative because the gradual decline of availability and quality of extension services across the country over the years was of great concern to government.
“The agricultural extension services go a long way to involve the transfer of scientific knowledge; farmers requires understanding the use of modern technology.
“Farming is associated with problems and for local farmers to solve the farming problems within them, they need comprehensive information on the use of modern technology and agricultural extension services is the helpful approach to solving farming problems,’’ he said.
Lokpobiri said to create a conducive environment, a Department of Agriculture and Extension Services had been created and strengthened with a mandate to develop a national extension strategic framework.
The minister added that the department was also saddled with the responsibility of coordination, provision and management of extension service delivery in Nigeria.
He said the role of extension services in teaching farmers how to improve their productivity through modern technologies in delivering extension services could not be over emphasised.
Lokpobiri said government was determined to make agriculture a profitable venture because it was capable of addressing graduate unemployment in the areas of farming, livestock and fisheries, diary production and advisory services delivery.