The Nigerian Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (NIFAAS), on Wednesday, stressed the need for the country to have a legislated agricultural extension policy to improve its agriculture and extension services.
The NIFAAS Country Focal Person, Prof. Tunji Arokoyo, emphasised the need at the NIFAAS Annual General Meeting (AGM), held at the University of Ibadan (UI), Ibadan, on Wednesday.
Arokoyo said there was need for the forum to provide blueprints for government at all levels to be able to take informed decisions concerning agricultural extension services.
He called for the repositioning of NIFAAS to enable it to address the challenges facing agriculture in the country.
The focal person noted that the AGM was critical for NIFAAS as a body and Nigeria as a whole because of the country’s recent recovery from economic recession.
“There is need to attract the three tiers of government to be committed to agriculture and agricultural extension policy in Nigeria.
“We need to think of how to bring our theories and discoveries to the farmers’ knowledge; making impacts in the lives of farmers is very important to us.
“So we should think of innovations that will benefit our farmers; if our technologies don’t get to our farmers, they are of no use.
“We have gathered everybody in the agric. sector today to think of various ways agriculture can be made a business and not just a practice,” Arokoyo said.
Also, the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of UI, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, said agricultural advisory service provision played critical role in the national economic growth.
He maintained that agricultural advisory service was the only connecting bridge for actors in agriculture sector.
Olayinka, represented by the university’s Deputy VC, Administration, Prof. Emiolorun Ayelari, noted that the role was more critical where priority attention was given to investments in agriculture.
He urged the stakeholders to use the opportunity to address other issues of wider significance in the context of Nigeria’s national growth and development aspirations.
“I believe the meeting will devote sufficient time for cross-fertilisation of ideas and experience sharing on best global practices in agricultural extension and advisory services that meet the needs of value chain actors.
“I acknowledge those who laboured for the birth of this forum and sustain the steady growth that it has witnessed since its inception in 2012,” Olayinka said.