For governors to perform one of their statutory roles in agricultural development, the South West Zonal Coordinator of Research Extension Farmers Input Linkage System (REFILS), Dr. Olukemi Lawal has appeal to the governors in the region to re-examine and devote more funds for the Agricultural Development Programmes in their respective states.
Lawal made this call in her welcome address during the opening of the 32nd Annual South West REFILS Workshop with the theme “Promoting Agribusiness and strengthening stakeholders linkages in adapting to climate change”, held at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan.
Present at the event were representatives of state governors in the region, Executive Director IAR&T, Professor James Adediran, the Elekole of Ikole Ekiti, Oba Adewunmi Fasiku Aladesekole 1, ADP team leaders in the region and Professor Adeduro Adegeye who served as the keynote speaker.
The Zonal Coordinator who maintained that the success of agriculture in the 70s was due to dynamic and vibrant extension services however charged the state governors in the zone to re-examine and devote more funds to ADP projects.
According to her, “I wish to plead that our state governors should re-examine and devote more funds to ADPs-REFILS activities so that ADPs can perform their statutory function better and in turn significantly improve the economic well-being of the resource poor farmers.
“Funding of ADP is germane to achieving sustainable development and economic diversification in Nigeria.
“The theme of this year’s workshop is ‘promoting agribusiness and strengthening stakeholders linkages in adapting to climate change’. This was carefully chosen to meet the current issues in agribusiness such as credit facilitation marketing and climate change.
“Farmers productivity has also become major agricultural challenge of our time. The erratic supply of rainfall, flooding and extreme temperature call for adaptation to reduce the effects of climate change.
“There is a need to strengthen linkages among agricultural stakeholders if we want farmers to remain in business and produce for both local and international markets. REFILS activities in most ADPs are encouraging while some need improvement in their activities.
“The farm families: extension agent ratio is increasing annually. If fact, we have as high as 6000 farm families to 1 Extension agent in most states of South West. There can never be meaningful agricultural development without the government strengthening ADPs in the zone.
“The success recorded in agriculture in the 70s was due to dynamic and vibrant extension services. Funding of ADPs has continued to decline at a fast rate in recent years yet more people are venturing into agriculture”.
IAR&T Executive Director, Professor James Adediran in his address urged governors in the zone to set priorities in policy formulation and implementation.
According to him, “Agricultural policies of the government in South West Nigeria are comprehensive and strategic. The governors are doing their best to implement these policies. However, there is the need to be more dynamic in setting priorities in policy formulation and implementation.
“I am particularly concerned on the level of performance and achievement of most ADPs which are below average due to insufficient funding by their state governments”
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