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The Kebbi State Government has announced plans to increase the number of extension workers in the state from 69 to 1,000 as part of efforts to boost agricultural development.

Kebbi

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Shehu Mu’azu, made this known during the 2024 Weekly Ministerial Press Briefing held in Birnin Kebbi on Monday.

Mu’azu stated the importance of extension workers in conveying information about new agricultural technologies to farmers across the state, stating their role in enhancing agricultural productivity.

“When the new government came on board, we realized that we had only 69 extension workers in the state.

“We believe that extension workers are key to agricultural growth and development because they are the ones to convey information about new technologies to farmers across the state.

“In view of this, His Excellency, Dr. Nasir Idris, has stepped up efforts to increase the number of these extension workers from 69 to 1,000 to boost agricultural productivity,” he said.

He said the number at the moment has been increased to 650, adding that plans were underway to reabsorb retired extension agents towards grooming the younger ones.

He noted with satisfaction that the present administration had ensured the availability of genuine, reliable and quality seeds all season to farmers in the state.

He stated, “ICT and efficient strategies will be deployed to strengthen agricultural service delivery in the state to ensure effective, timely and statewide dissemination of good agricultural, climate-smart information reaches out to farmers.

“Another developmental activity is; Quelea birds control both during the wet and dry seasons of 2023 to prevent the destruction of millet and rice.”

The commissioner also pointed out other agricultural development initiatives in the state, including the distribution of solar-powered irrigation pumps, procurement of Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, for converted irrigation pumps, distribution of power tillers and motorized pump sprayers to Farmers’ Cooperative Groups, and the participation of 39,500 farmers in the Federal Government’s dry season production programme.

This, he said, involved 30,000 rice farmers, 7,500 maize farmers and 2,000 cassava farmers across the state.

He also stated that the state had launched the Kaura Agricultural Development and Growth Agenda to attract agriculture and agribusiness investments in the state through partnerships at local, national, and international levels.

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By oyonews

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