N-power: FMARD set to engage N-power Volunteers

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has concluded plans to engage N-Agro volunteers as extension agents in their rural communities.

The Ministry has started dishing out emails to N-Agro volunteers to enable them enrol and be trained for the program.

FMARD has as of January, 2020  said that it would recruit and train 50,000 extension workers in the next three years in order to aid local farming.

The Ministry emphasised that extension in agriculture is a service that assists farmers through educational procedures in improving farming methods and techniques as well as increasing production efficiency.

The intention to engage extension agents was disclosed by the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, while speaking at a press conference held after a tour of Nestle Nigeria Plc. in Lagos.
We need extension officers to guide local farmers on how to use fertilisers in the different soils they farm on. If we do not have extension agents, we will always have issues in the production of quality crops, especially beans. 
Unfortunately, we are lacking them. That is why the ministry aims to recruit and train about 50,000 extension officers in the country in the next three years. 
One way to engage a large number of youths is to train them as extension officers for local farmers. We also want to train some as specialised extension officers – those that will carry farmers along; they will become farmers on site.
If our Agriculture Mechanization programme comes through as we hope, it will involve a lot of unemployed youths.
Meanwhile, President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Kabiru Ibrahim has decried the poor number of extension service providers in the country.

Ibrahim, while speaking to newsmen revealed that the country had less than 10,000 extension workers.

There is a serious dearth of extension workers… We are a country where 70% of us are farmers and we have less than 10,000 of us who are extension workers.
It is a very serious disconnect. We [at AFAN] are very happy that the president wrote to us that the government is going to train 50, 0000 extension workers.

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