There are only 14, 000 agricultural extension service workers that attend to the needs of the huge number of farmers across the country, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, has said.
Mr Nanono, who disclosed this at a Town Hall Meeting with Farmers Associations and other stakeholders in Kano on Friday, said the current number were grossly inadequate to attend to over 70 million farmers in the country.
He said lack of adequate extension workers was one of the challenges bedeviling the agricultural sector in the country.
“We lack the number of experts who will go round to meet the farmers and give them the needed advice on farming techniques to improve their productivity,” the minister said.
According to him, the Federal Government is determined to address the challenges with a view to boosting food production in the country.
He said the federal government was also committed to introducing mechanised farming as part of efforts to boost agricultural production in the country.
Mr Nanono said the introduction of mechanised farming was necessary in order to shift from the traditional system of farming to self-reliance and sufficiency in food production.
He stressed the need for farmers in the country to wake up from their slumber in view of the fact that agriculture is the backbone of the nation’s economy.
“The federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has done a lot to the agricultural sector.
“We need to give the government the necessary support and cooperation to enable it to accord the sector the required support,” he said.
NAN reports that the meeting was attended by various farmers Associations and other stakeholders in the sector.