Private Agricultural Extension dynamic force to food security – NAERLS

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The National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, says private driven agricultural extension services will serve as a dynamic force to food security.

Prof. Emmanuel Ikanni, Executive Director of NAERLS, spoke with newsmen on Tuesday in Zaria, Kaduna State.

He said that private driven extension services would serve as a backup to the public agricultural extension services and enhance economic growth.

Ikanni regretted that the agricultural extension in Nigeria was ineffective as the Agricultural Development Project (ADPs) funded by the World Bank folded and counterpart funds was seized by the government.

According to him, there is no ADP in Oyo state while there are two agricultural extension agents in Bayelsa state.

“The issue of transferring knowledge from the research institutes to farmers became a problem hence the need for private agricultural extension agency to bridge the gaps,’’ he said.

Ikanni said agriculture was scientific, about expertise, skills and knowledge; hence agricultural extension stepped down knowledge from research institutes to the farmers.

He said agriculture worked previously in Nigeria as the name giant of Africa was earned through agriculture not by petroleum.
The executive director cited the groundnut pyramid in Kano, Cocoa House in Ibadan among others.

Ikanni said that the discovery of petroleum drifted the country from the huge achievements in its journey to nationhood.

He said it had become imperative for the government to fix agriculture as it was key to fixing other sectors. According to him, a nation is what its citizens eat.

NAN / Foluke Ibitomi