Agric: FG gives extension agents 800 motorcycles

Federal Government has launched and distributed 800 units of motorcycles to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to support extension agents across the country.

This is even as it also provided the sum of N200 million to support the take-off of the extension activities in five pilot states, while assuring that 5000 agricultural extension workers would be employed and trained.

Launching the mobility programmes yesterday at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Complex, Sheda, Gwagwalada-Kwali, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said the goal of the government was to bring to the service of the farmers the best of agricultural extension approaches.

He said access to mobility is one of the most limiting constraints to the performance of agricultural extension workers.
He added that it is important that toosl, knowledge and skills are given to the agents to enable them reach the farmers in remote rural areas.

He said the ministry has entered into partnership with the Sasakawa Africa Association and under this, 5000 extension workers will be employed and trained. Adding that management training plots will be established in each of the five pilot state which include Ogun, Kastina, Anambra, Benue and  Cross Rivers states.

Each state, including FCT, received 22 units of the motorcycles, while the managers are to be provided with vehicles to enable them work properly. He however warned that the motorcycles should not be used for Okada business and that the ministry will monitor the activities of the workers to ensure accountability.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Ibukun Odusote, said a performing agriculture extension service is expected to improve productivity adding that extension is the prime vehicle for bringing technological innovation to farmers for sustainable development.

She said a Department of Agricultural Extension has been established to provide the much needed impetus for leadership, coordination, monitoring and quality assurance to drive the transformation of extension delivery at the grassroots by the states, local governments and private agricultural advisory service providers.

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