ABU partners mechanization centre on training, producing agric. equipment

The National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria has entered into partnership with National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM).

The partnership is on the production of prototype agricultural equipment to enhance modern agriculture in Nigeria.

Prof. Emmanuel Ikani, Executive Director, NAERLS made this known during the 2021 National Agricultural Extension Review and Planning Meeting in Zaria on Wednesday.

Ikani said NAERLS had given NCAM an office in Zaria towards up scaling the fabrication of agricultural equipment with a view to reduce use of cutlasses and hoes on farms.

“We want the farmers to get these tools that are labor saving devices that have to do with seed planting, weeding, fertilizer application and harvesting.

“Under the partnership, some fabricators would also be trained on how to multiply the equipment from NCAM,’’ he said

Ikani added that the meeting would also deliberate on better ways of tackling contemporary issues of security and post-harvest losses in Nigeria’s agricultural system.

In his speech, Mr Frank Kudla, Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension said the Federal Government had commenced the training of 75,000 agricultural extension agents.

Kudla, represented by Alhaji Shehu Hamza, said out of the 75,000 to be trained; 2,590 agents were trained between March and October.

He restated the commitment of the department to support NAERLS towards moving the sector forward.

Earlier, Prof. Kabiru Bala, Vice-Chancellor of ABU appealed for harmonized efforts on research for agricultural extension to achieve the desired outcome.

Bala, represented by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Danladi Ameh, said duplication of research efforts among different national agricultural research institutes undermined real economic development.

The Vice-Chancellor urged the meeting to develop new strategies for extension services, tightly linked to agricultural research and the promotion of demand-driven and pluralistic services.

Bala added that this should be with the strong involvement of the private sector. (NAN)