The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has stepped up measure to revitalise agricultural extension services to boost food production in the territory, an official has said.
A Director of Agricultural Development Project (ADP) in the FCT, Mr Innocent Ajaefobi, said this on Saturday in Gwagwalada at the closing of the three days training programme organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The director, represented by the Acting Head, Extension Sub Programme, Mr Ude Ekele said the training, organised by the Federal Government was to revitalise agricultural extension services.
He called on participants at the training programme for agricultural extension agents to ensure effective use of knowledge acquired.
He urged them to put in their best to ensure that they were accepted by the farmers and not to be seen as agents of politicians.
Ajaefobi called on them to be innovative, creative, resourceful and ensure the application of scientific knowledge in the discharge of their duties as extension agents.
He urged farmers to relate with extension agents as persons coming to impact knowledge to increase their productivity and not agents of politicians.
Some of the participants, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), commended the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for organising the training programme.
Mrs Deborah Anigo, one of the participants said the training was a welcome development adding that such opportunity had never been granted to extension agents for a very long time.
She said the programme was impactful, adding that with the training, the extension agents were better equipped to transfer knowledge to the farmers.
Anigo called for the sustainability of the training programme and urged the government to provide necessary tools for the farmers to enhance their productivity.
Mr Samuel Odoh, another participant said the training programme was a step in the right direction to better equip the extension agents in the discharge of their duties.
He said the knowledge acquired would help the extension agents in the reorientation of farmers on their wrong notion about extension agents’ visit to communities.
Odoh said the expectation of farmers that the responsibility of extension agents was to provide money and farm input was wrong.
According to him, the responsibility of extension agents is to advise the farmers on how to go about their production with their input and not the extension agents providing the inputs.
NAN recalls that 40 extension agents drawn from the six area councils in the FCT were trained in the programme which simultaneously took place in the 36 states of the country.