Youth participation: Nigerian govt focusing on e-extension service delivery in agric

Farmers cast urea fertilizer in a rice plantation.
Farmers cast urea fertilizer in a rice plantation.

Federal Government is focusing on holistic and coordinated electronic extension service delivery to target and educate youths in agriculture and other farming population across the country, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said on Monday.

The minister made this known at the 2018 Youth Policy Dialogue organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Office of the Special Assistant to the President on Youths and Student Affairs in Abuja.

Mr Ogbeh said the aggressive extension service delivery within the 774 local government areas of the country was aimed at addressing the challenges faced by youths and other farmers in technology advancement, education and other agricultural practices.

Represented by Abdulkadir Mu’azu, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ogbeh said that as a practising farmer, he knew the challenges across the country and hoped to address them.

He appealed to youths to get involved in agriculture to reduce the increasing unemployment and ageing farming population

He added that “as part of measures to address these challenges, the ministry is focusing on holistic and coordinated extension delivery system that includes electronic extension (e-extension) and communication, innovation platform and one-stop extension service delivery centres in the 774 LGAs in the country.

“This is to reach the teeming and emerging farming population in Nigeria, particularly the youths.”

Nasir Adhama, the Special Assistant to the President on Youths and Student Affairs, urged youths to play their part and contribute their quota in economic development to encourage the government to support them.

Mr Adhama, represented by Charles Folayan, the Technical Assistant in the office, appealed to youths to start small businesses in agriculture, adding that it was the best option to facilitate economic development and make a decent living.

Some of the youths who spoke at the event appealed to government at all levels to support them with credit facilities and mechanised farming equipment to encourage them in the venture.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the dialogue was organised to commemorate the World Food Day celebration.