Agric Productivity: Commodity Exchange Seeks Return of Extension Workers

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Nigeria Commodity Exchange, Head of Quality Control, Dr. Kadijat Abdulaziz, has advised the Federal Government to design measures to ensure the return of extension workers.
Abdulaziz said this became imperative in order to increase farm productivity, ensure safe use of pesticides, herbicides and bridge the gap between researchers and farmers.
Speaking at an ongoing stakeholders workshop organised by Synergos Nigeria in Abuja, she described their role as vital to achieve food security.
Her words: “Government should bring back the agricultural extension workers. These are people who are like the bridge between researchers and farmers.
“Train them so that they can go back and train the farmers. Government must bring back model farms. In those days, government have model farms where this extension workers becomes proficient in what they do.
“It is like a place where they are being trained practically. No just to train the extension workers on theory but practical so that when they go back to the farmers, they can impact the knowledge to them.
“Farmers get convinced when they see things. Most farmers want to pay to get premium price than to lose their commodities at the international markets for not meeting the required standards.”
Abdulaziz also urged the federal government to make infrastructure available for farmers in order to ease the stress farmers undergo in agriculture production.
She appealed to the federal government to ban importation of substandard agro-chemicals. She emphaised that there are chemicals already banned abroad but still found their way into the country which according to her, posses serious threat to local farmers.
She encouraged the federal government to intensify actions on the right use of pesticides.
“In some developing countries like Kenya, the government provides most of the infrastructures farmers needs to progress. The government provides this infrastructure so that it will prevent farmers from drying their commodities on the road side.
“Government provides them with dryers, thresher and harvesters. These farmers are placed in cluster and they plan their activities in order not to interrupt other farmer’s activities.
“So that when some farmers are harvesting, some will be drying with the facilities provided by government. We do not have such facility in this country. So when people do not have dryer, they dry anywhere, ” she added.

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