By Tony Adibe
The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, and Rural Development (FMARD), has begun the training of 50 Agric Extension workers on Extension tools, methodologies and selected Agricultural value chain in Enugu State.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar in his address during the opening ceremony of the 3-day training of Extension agents in Enugu, disclosed that the training was one of the ministries plans to address the drift in the Agricultural Extension system with an aim of pursuing the revitalization agenda of the Nigerian economy.
Dr. Abubakar explained that agricultural extension delivery is the driver of all agricultural policies and research, adding that without which all efforts in the agricultural ecosystem might not actualize its goals.
Represented by FMARD regional Director, Mr Peter Nworga, the Minister said that the exercise was the 3rd batch training aimed at empowering extension workers with knowledge to enhance service delivery to farmers both in production practices and equipment for technical support.
He said: “It is a great pleasure for me to address you today at this auspicious occasion of the opening ceremony of the training of Agricultural Extension Agents across the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory holding in the 37 headquarters of the states Agricultural development projects in Nigeria.
“Dear participants, it is the desire of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, the federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and every Nigerian to see that our Agricultural Extension delivery system meet global competitiveness to ensure we have adequate food for our population and some to augment our foreign earning.”
But declaring the training open, the Enugu State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Mathew Idu, thanked the federal government for providing the platform to train Agric Extension worker consistently. Represented by a director in the ministry, Mr. Fredrick Ozor, Idu said that farmers cannot do anything in agriculture without the extension workers who do virtually everything to enhance the production of crops.
Earlier, the Project Manager of Enugu State Agricultural Development Programme (ENADEP), Dr Ogbonna Onyeisi commended the federal government on what they have done so far to increase the production of crops in Nigeria.
While assuring the state government commitment to increase agricultural produce, Dr Onyishi said that ENADEP has rolled out programmes to visit all the local government areas in the State to bring out all the challenges they encounter and provide solutions to them.
Onyeisi said: “Today is a remarkable day because I am closer to my family because I call farmers my family. They’re the people that produce what we eat and with the help of Android phone we can reach every farmer and solve their problems by helping them to grow their crops without hitches.
“Those challenges are no more because we at the ENADEP, are ready to take the bull by the horn. We are with the farmers, and we believe that our governor will recruit more Agric extension workers. We want Agriculture to be the base of revenue for Enugu State.”