Mr. Ken Ukuokha, President of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), denounced the poor access to information from the Extension Service for small farmers.
This was stated on Monday in Abuja Ukuokha during a political dialogue on key thematic issues of agriculture in Nigeria.
He said that the dialogue is to mobilize the voice of small farmers and various stakeholders to effectively address their problems through evidence-based advocacy for a credible solution.
"One of the key thematic issues that are of interest to NENS is the subject of Extension services for farmers in Nigeria.
"It's unfortunate that the system was overshadowed by a lot of problems, especially in the field of providing feedback, as most farmers now depend on radio stations for their source of information.
"The tasks forced farmers not to express their understanding, share experiences or opinions on issues related to the farms that concern them," said Ukayokha.
Agricultural extension is a service that provides technical advice to farmers, helps farmers acquire the necessary resources, including credit for agriculture, provides training and evaluation of new agricultural technologies in farmers' fields in close cooperation with farmers.
They help to connect farmers with supply chains and markets, guide farmers' problems and problems to decision-makers, and thus help in developing new and favorable agricultural policies suitable for different regions.
He added that distributors are facing their own problems, such as inadequate funds, poor training and retraining of an outdated system.
Ukakoka said that other thematic problems facing farmers are the current crises of shepherds and farmers and their impact on agriculture and food security.
He said that poor investment in agriculture affected small farmers who occupied 80 percent of the national food production and therefore called on the appropriate authority to find a way to solve this problem.
"We conducted a survey of the extended services in six states, and we found out that there are no tools for their work,
"We also found out that the producers are not in the communities, and these are the places where farmers do their work," Ucayoha said.
According to him, if the farmers do not pay attention to the agent for the distribution of services, the country does not move.
Professor Seth Akusson, Economics Department of the State University of Kaduna, said that the problems faced by small farmers had deterred and delayed the growth and development of farmers for decades, which left them in squalor with a poor harvest.
Akutson said most of the problems are related to poor provision of extension services, climate change, floods and disasters, weak and conflicting policy frameworks and approaches and poor agricultural reclamation / labor-intensive farming.
Others he spoke of were weak processing methods, low added value, the lack of efficient and organized cooperative unions, the lack of modern technologies that, in particular, would increase farm yields and poor farm management capabilities.
He urged the government to find a way to solve the problems faced by farmers in order to increase production.
Mr. Silver Bai, Director for Policy and Planning at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the government has taken great steps to develop agriculture in the country.
Baja said that the government has also taken steps to improve the distribution service, adding that the ministry currently has a department that will take care of it.
"The department guarantees that all innovations coming from research institutes become available to farmers before the country does not have such services," he said,
According to him, the federal government has done a lot to make the country produce all the rice that it consumes.
Baja said that the government has zero tolerance for the importation of rice into the country. (NAN)