ADP calls for use of extension workers to boost food security – The Sun Nigeria
Mr. Etim Bassey, Program Manager, Cross River Agricultural Development Program (ADP), sounded the alarm that state and federal government food security plans are under threat from security guards. inadequate extension.
Bassey said as much during his interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Sunday.
He said that unless something urgent is done to remedy the situation, the two governments’ ambitious plans to improve food security could prove to be wishful thinking.
In particular, he pointed out that the problem had degenerated to the point where some states, particularly in the South, had a ratio of one agent for 7,000 farmers.
“This goes against the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recommendation of a ratio of one per 800 farmers.
“In Cross River, for example, we have 60 extension officers serving over 600,000 farming families and the last time an officer was employed in the state was in the 1990s,” said- he declared.
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He said the burnout of extension workers was due to retirements and deaths.
The program manager noted that a department, created within the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to help meet the challenge, had not helped matters.
Bassey denounced the lack of funds as a major challenge of ADPs in the country and noted that the implementation of government policies on agriculture would not yield the desired results if the ADP was continually circumvented by governments.
According to him: “ADP was created to transfer technology to farmers through demonstrations and trials of agricultural value chains; it is unfortunate that ADP is not reinforced for this.
“Without the federal government, ADP would be history since 1995, when the World Bank sold the program.
“Besides the funding, infrastructure and mobility challenges we have had from governments, the worst part is that governments are no longer using ADPs for their agricultural policy implications.”