Experts in the agriculture sector have called on governments at all levels to support Agricultural Development Programmes (ADP) to boost production in the country.
The appeal was made in a communiqué issued at the end of the South West Zone Research Extension Farmer Input Linkage System (REFILS) Steering Committee meeting held in Iwo, Osun State.
The meeting, which was attended by 44 participants from the ADPs in Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Osun and Oyo states; NARIs (National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT); National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS); Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T); FADAMA Osun State and All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), was hosted by Osun State Agricultural Development Programme (OSSADEP) and co-sponsored by IAR&T and OSSADEP.
The experts said: “Governments should support ADPs in sensitising stakeholders on the use of farmers’ helpline through the television, radio and others.
“The committee matured into the premiere platform for REFILS leaders from across the Southwest region to advance plans and share knowledge in driving sustainable agricultural growth across the region,” it said.
The meeting was opened by Osun State Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Hon. Adedayo Adewole, who spoke on the need for paradigm shift from petroleum to agriculture, regional collaboration among the Southwest states and the commitment of the governors to agricultural growth and development.
He concluded that the REFILS family in the region should lay emphasis on success stories championed by individuals.
The meeting closely examined how the various state governments and other partners are performing in REFILS activities in the zone.
The committee discussed how the government is undermining REFILS activities, which is negating the Sustainable Development Goals, as it relates to agricultural growth and development.
“There is a need for the ADPs to key into the Southwest DAWN agenda of agriculture as Agribusiness through REFILS platform. There is a need for the development of resistant varieties to permanently eradicate armyworm infestation. IAR&T needs to come up with high powered advocacy and sensitisation to major decision-makers in the agricultural sector,” it stated.
The Southwest states were therefore asked to take ownership of REFILS at zonal level and that all arms of government and development agencies should support REFILS and ADP activities.