FG Trains Extension Agents on Yam Cultivation Practices

The Federal Government through its Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has trained Extension Agents in the Southwest area on better yam cultivation practices.

The Director, Federal Department of Agriculture in the Ministry, Karima Babangida, explained the essence of the training workshop, which is to appraise the extension delivery services in yam value chain development.

She made this known at the opening ceremony of the training workshop themed; ‘Role of Extension Workers in Yam Value Chain Transformation for Food Security in the Face of COVID-19 Pandemic’ at Ijebu-Ife, Ogun State.

According to the Director, several factors in the value chain have made the adoption of technology-driven extension services, imperative.

“Since effective extension service delivery is key to boosting agricultural productivity, increasing food security, improving rural livelihoods, and promoting agriculture as an engine of pro-poor economic growth, it becomes necessary to organize this workshop.

“Yam value chain has transformed greatly in the last ten years but little is known of the impact of extension service in the process. I am convinced therefore that at the end of this workshop, you would have had an improved understanding of an effective extension service delivery.

“The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is expanding daily. Governments around the globe are confronted with multiple challenges related to minimizing the devastating health impact and protecting human lives and ensuring sufficient food supplies and the functioning of services to those most in need.

“All this, while coping with the economic consequences of COVID-19, is expected to push an additional 548 million people below the poverty line.

She further stated that traditional extension service delivery has become rather expensive and consequently, hardly accessible. The geographical location of farmers, as well as governance challenges, has also made it hard to access, she added.

This, she said, has made the incorporation of ICT in modern-day extension service delivery, important.

She said, “ICT applications have the potential to address some of the challenges. Compared to face-to-face extensions, they are cheaper because they do not rely on costly and time-consuming travelling.

“It allows for more timely and regular provision of farming advice to farmers in their local dialects.

“In addition, a holistic approach to agricultural extension service goes beyond technology transfer for major crops.

“It also includes enhancing the management and technical skills of farm households relating to production, and postharvest management of high-value crops like yam; sustainable natural resource management; family health care and nutrition.”


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