By Mohammed Lawal
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Saturday distributed 370 bikes to extension brokers to additional improve service supply to Nigerian farmers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) experiences that the bikes got to the brokers as tender mortgage at 50 per cent low cost.
NAN additionally experiences that the minister, Chief Audu Ogbeh, had earlier commissioned a “National Farmer Help Line (NFHL) Centre”, meant to offer a linkage between extension employees and farmers throughout Nigeria.
Ogbeh, flagging-off the distribution train on the National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaisons Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, stated the bikes had been to enhance effectivity.
“It is a superb privilege for me to launch and flag-off the distribution of those bikes to the frontline agricultural extension employees within the Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) in varied states.
“It has change into crucial and certainly compelling for Nigeria to diversify its financial system, having been nearly depending on petroleum for 4 a long time.
“The country has realised that the most apparent sector to achieve this is the agriculture sector, which presents the greatest potential for sustainable economic development of Nigeria in terms of resource-based approach to growth,” he stated.
Ogbeh stated that the nation should due to this fact transit from oil-dependency to a extra diversified financial system, because the home financial system is all the time prone to exterior income shocks when oil costs fall.
According to him, that informs the imperativeness for the financial diversification from oil as a depleting asset, for the reason that nation is simply too richly endowed with ample pure property for it to focus on tapping only one.
He stated the nation wanted an financial diversification mannequin that may assist soak up fiscal shocks, fend-off financial instability and supply employment alternatives for the teeming energetic work-force.
The minister stated it was in realisation of this that President Muhammadu Buhari directed the organising of 4 particular committees, certainly one of which is on “Revitalisation of Agricultural Extension Services in Nigeria”.
Ogbeh lamented that extension service supply within the nation fell into laborious occasions for the reason that closure of the World Bank loans within the early 2000.
“In an effort to re-engineer extension service supply within the nation, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has determined to deal with the problem from the muse.
“One of such fundamental issues is the provision of mobility to the extension agents in the State’s Agricultural Development Programmes in all states of the federation,” he famous.
The minister stated it was essential to offer the extension brokers left within the service of ADPs with acceptable type of mobility.
He stated that through the years, bikes have been discovered to be probably the most environment friendly technique of mobility for agricultural extension brokers.
NAN experiences that the minister was in Zaria for an inspection tour of agricultural institutes comprising IAR and NAERLS.
Other analysis institutes to be visited by the minister are the National Animal Production and Research Institute (NAPRI) in addition to Division of Agricultural Colleges (DAC).
In his handle, the Director, NAERLS, Prof. Mohammed Othman-Khalid recognized some challenges hindering the expansion of analysis to incorporate premature launch of cash and out of date analysis services.
He stated the institute had skilled about 30,000 youths beneath the N-Power scheme and it aided farmers to supply credit score services value N100 million in 2016/2017, which was absolutely repaid.
Earlier, the Director, Extension Services, Fedral Ministry of Agriculture, Hajiya Karima Babangida, lamented that the extension worker-farmer ratio stood at 1:10,000 and 1:25,000 in some states.
She stated the motorbike distribution was an indication of ardour the minister had for extension providers.
Babangida stated that every ADP would obtain 10 bikes for onward distribution to extension brokers in its state.
She stated the ministry would offer services in all of the zonal centres within the six geo-political zones, to help farmers by means of the National Farmer Help Line.
Babangida stated the bikes distribution was being completed in all of the six geo-political zones of the nation, and urged beneficiaries to make considered use of them to enhance productiveness.