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Bauchi Lawmaker Decries Dearth of Agric Extension Workers

Member representing Hardawa Constituency in the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Babayo Muhammad has frowned at the gross shortage of agric extension workers in the state needed to achieve food security and poverty reduction. 

The lawmaker said while agriculture remains the major employer of labour in Bauchi State, short supply of competent and well-trained agric extension agents takes a toll on productivity of farmers, hence poor yields and income.

He said this while moving a motion during the plenary of the house, mandating the executive arm in the state to absorb agric extension agents that the federal government trained in Abuja to bridge the gap. 

“To address these challenges, the Federal Government of Nigeria revitalized agricultural extension services to support small-scale agriculture, eradicate poverty and achieve national and household food security in which the Federal Government trained thousands of agriculture extension workers drawn from all the local government areas in the country to assist in building farners’ agricultural knowledge and skills on modern agriculture and mechanized farming.

“The training is important to Bauchi State because it represents a good opportunity for the trained extension workers to grow their knowledge based and improve the state’s agricultural sector and in the long run increase its internally generated revenue which is in tandem with the commitments of Bauchi State Government under the leadership of His Excellency Senator Bala Abdulkadir Muhammad.

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“No doubt, the Bauchi State Government has demonstrated some zeal to support agricultural development through gradual upward reviews of its agriculture budget annually. 

“Nonetheless, the State is yet to maximize its agricultural production potential towards economic growth and improved livelihoods, for several reasons, including policy and practice limitations in implementing unified agricultural extension services for increased productivity and better living standards of small-scale farmers. 

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“With limited extension workers for small-scale farmers, Bauchi State farmers received limited guidance and training in technology adoption and application of inputs, resulting in low productivity, reduced export opportunities and threaten livelihoods.

“There is currently a ratio of one extension worker to five thousand households in Bauchi State.” He explained,” he said. 

The lawmaker prayed to the house to mandate the executive arm to place premium on agriculture in order to ensure food security and eradicate poverty, absorb agricultural extension workers trained in Abuja to assist small-holder farmers to address the many challenges of agricultural production in the State.

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However, the Honourable House unanimously adopted the prayers of the motion.

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