Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Food Security: States pledge support for bill to reactivate agricultural extension service delivery in Nigeria

State commissioners of Agriculture across the country have pledged the support of their states for the proposed national bill aimed at reactivating efficient extension service delivery to enhance food production in Nigeria.

According to the commissioners, lack of an efficient and effective extension service delivery system is one of the major reasons for low production as many farmers lack access to the necessary know-how and support to produce crops and other agricultural produce or products at sustainable and profitable levels.

SOLACEBASE reports that they were speaking on Wednesday in Abuja on the sidelines of a meeting convened by WOFAN ICON2 Project in collaboration with the ministries of Agriculture and Food Security and Budget and Economic Planning and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector, to revise and finetune the updated draft of the Agricultural Extension Service Delivery Revitalization Bill.

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Cross River State Commissioner for Agriculture and Irrigation Development, Johnson Ebokpo, said Nigeria has about 70 percent of farmers that cannot meet 50 percent of the nation’s food demand.

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He noted that the problem of low production is due to a lack of efficient extension services, stressing that the effect of not having a clear legal framework around extension service delivery is negatively affecting food security.

‘’Extension bridges the gap between research and farmers, so if extension is not properly taken care of, we will continue to face food insecurity”, he said.

Ebokpo however noted Cross River State has developed robust programs to fill the gaps created by lack of extension services and pledged the state’s commitment to efforts to revitalize extension service delivery across the country.

Also speaking, the Kebbi State Commissioner of Agriculture, Maigari Dakingari pledged the support of the state to ensuring the speedy passage of the bill and domestication at the state level.

Dakingari said there is a need to improve funding for agriculture to allow private extension services to contribute to the agricultural sector and boost food sufficiency.

In her remarks, WOFAN’s Executive Director, Hajia Salamatu Garba, said research are being carried out regularly in the agricultural sector but outcomes of the research are not being translated to action on the farms. This, she said, is where extension comes in.

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“Outcomes of research findings are normally disseminated to end users such as farmers and other value chain actors by extension workers. But in the absence of an efficient extension system, the findings remain on the shelves in libraries and food production suffers as a result”, she said.

Garba said commissioners and others are involved in the preparation of the draft bill so that they can make inputs and own the bill even during the formulation period.

It is expected that the final draft of the bill will be presented to the National Assembly soon for consideration. All stakeholders who participated in the meeting expressed optimism that when it is finally passed, the bill will facilitate enhanced food production and ultimately contribute to food sufficiency in Nigeria.

The WOFAN ICON2 Project is a five-year intervention funded by the Mastercard Foundation to, among other objectives, empower 675,000 youth aged 18–35 to engage in and benefit from decent and sustainable livelihoods.


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