By Ahmed Rahma
The federal government is considering coming up with policies that could make players in the private sector to invest in agricultural extension service delivery in Nigeria.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Muhammad Sabo Nanono, gave this hint recently at an event held in Abuja.
Speaking during the Sensitization Workshop on Revitalization of Agricultural Extension with the theme Catalysing Effective Agricultural Extension Service Delivery at the Grassroots, the Minister tasked participants to come up with ways to achieve this goal.
According to him, these policies will help the country get out of recession quickly because the involvement of the private sector in agricultural extension services will result into a boost in food production and an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He, therefore, urged the participants to recommend a favourable policy environment for active private sector investment in the management, operation and funding of extension service delivery as the government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of supporting effective extension service delivery.
The Minister, who was represented at the event by the Director of Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, Mr Frank Kudla, further charged stakeholders “to bring up innovations that will foster and encourage aggressive training of necessary manpower and ensuring professionalism in agricultural extension services, this I believe will make the extension system knowledge-based and a desirable service to be patronized by farmers.”
Mr Nanono also stated that the Ministry has renewed its commitment to increase agriculture contribution to the GDP, noting that “the revitalisation of the National Extension System comes as a veritable means to further boost our efforts.”
He further tasked the stakeholders to look critically into how to redefine “the roles and responsibilities of the three tiers of government in the agricultural extension services and establishment of evaluation strategy with possible reprisal for actors that fail in their responsibilities in order to ensure accountability and commitment.”
While speaking at the workshop, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, assured that “the Ministry through the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension is well advance in putting in place sustainable agricultural extension service backed by law.”
Mr Mu’azu, who was represented by the Director, Farm Inputs Support Services (FISS), Mr Tunde Bello, explained that “the workshop offers a great opportunity to further discuss and assess the efforts in place to resuscitate the national agricultural extension system and come up with all-inclusive implementable strategies in line with international best practices for practitioners in both the public and private sector.”
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