The Federal Department of Agricultural Extension (FDAE), has begun training of 40 agricultural extension agents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on delivery methodologies and tools.
Mr Frank Kudla, the Director, FDAE said on Friday in Gwagwalada that the training was simultaneously ongoing in the 36 states of the federation.
Kudla, who represented by Mrs Paulina Iyenagbe, the Chief E-Extension Officer, FDAE said the participants were drawn from the six Area Councils of the territory.
According to him, the training is to equip the extension agents on the best global practices in agricultural value chains.
The director said it was also to provide the participants with necessary logistics and reference manuals in line with emerging technologies, innovations and practices in the sub sector.
“The training will take the form of presentations, discussions, storming and practical sessions to expose participants to all aspect of extension methodologies, tools and good agricultural practices of the selected value chains.
“It will also prepare the agricultural extension agents to provide services to farmers, community based advisors and facilitators,” he said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Muhammed Abubakar said agricultural extension delivery was the driver of all agricultural policies and research.
The minister, represented by Mr Abdulrahman Gurin, the State Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said no meaningful achievement could be recorded in the agricultural ecosystem without functional extension agents.
He blamed the decline in the fortunes of the agricultural extension system on poor funding, policy changes, reduced man power and lack of interest of young people in agricultural entrepreneurship.
According to him, this situation has affected food production, exposing the country to the dangers of unemployment, youth restiveness and economic instability.
“This training is one of the several strategies planned by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to halt the drift in the agricultural extension system.
“The idea is to pursue the revitalisation agenda of the Nigerian economy by the Federal Government,” he said.
Some of the participants who spoke to the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) commended the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for organising the programme.
Mr Samuel Odoh, one of the participants said with the training, the extension agents were better equipped to face the farmers with a view to changing their orientation about extension services.
He said talking to farmers would be easier because of the knowledge acquired in the course of the training.
Odoh called on the government to come to the aide of the farmers by providing good roads and other infrastructure that would enhance production and transportation of produce to the market.
Mrs Deborah Anigo, another participant urged the government to sustain the training programme, adding that the event was impactful. (NAN)