Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Production Services, and Rural Development, Sen. Saliu Mustapha has, on behalf of the Senate, assured quick approval of the agricultural extension services delivery revitalization bill.
Sen. Mustapha made this commitment in Abuja during a one-day technical session discussing the draft agricultural extension service delivery revitalization bill, which was organized by the Women Farmers Advancement Network and country representatives (WOFAN-ICON2).
According to him, the bill aims to ensure the effective implementation of a national agricultural extension policy and strategy for sustainable agricultural extension services in the country. It also seeks to promote human resource development, career progression, and professionalism in agricultural extension while encouraging active participation and investment in agriculture by women and youth.
He noted that farmers, particularly those in rural areas, would benefit a lot from the bill.
He stressed the need for the incorporation of digital agriculture essential services into the draft bill, emphasizing the importance of adding value to agriculture to make it a viable livelihood option and address the country’s security challenges.
His words: “With the advancement in technology and global development of agricultural extension service around the world, it is my expectation that the draft bill should, as much as practicable, incorporate digital agriculture essential service as it is done in other countries. We’re also looking at opportunities because the most important thing is adding value and making sure it is practicable and works.
“So, the most important thing is the value addition to make sure because, for me, we should start thinking of how agriculture should be a means of livelihood. With the insecurity we have in the country today, if agriculture is working the way it ought to, it will have reduced the problem by 70 to 80 per cent.”
In her statement, the Founder, WOFAN-ICON2, Dr. Salamatu Garba emphasized the role of the bill in revitalizing Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
She said, “We’re pushing it from just a policy document to make sure that the Senate and the National Assembly understand and absorb it so that it can be translated into a bill and later may become an act. She said if the bill was passed, it meant that the federal government would have a particular percentage dedicated to agriculture, which is the backbone of the economy.
“The agricultural extension system in Nigeria needs a lot of reawakening, and this bill will help push the process forward.”