• 12 Jul, 2024

During the 6th Africa–Wide Agricultural Extension Week in Abuja, President Bola Tinubu, represented by the Minister of State Agriculture and Food Security, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, revealed his government's plans to use renewable energy to power fuel irrigation pumps for farmers, thereby mitigating the harsh impact of the rising cost of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Tinubu acknowledged that the Federal Government has introduced solar-powered irrigation pumps, but these will only be available to a cluster of farmers who can access them. In his keynote address, he emphasized the importance of agricultural extension services in disseminating and implementing improved technologies developed by National Agricultural Research Institutions (NARIs), input suppliers, and marketers to farmers. Tinubu also discussed the Harmonized Extension Manual and the National Agricultural Extension Policy, which aim to provide effective and efficient demand-driven, market-oriented extension services to all stakeholders.  

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Tinubu expressed his desire to improve the agricultural sector to achieve the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those related to zero hunger and self-sufficiency in food production. To this end, the government has implemented the National Agriculture Growth Scheme-Agropocket, which provides millions of farmers with training on good agricultural practices, certified inputs such as improved seeds and organic and inorganic fertilizers, and irrigation equipment at highly subsidized prices to enhance their productivity and increase their income.  

However, Tinubu lamented the lack of cooperation and synergy with agricultural research institutes, stating that they are not sharing their technologies, and everything is being shelved. Therefore, he proposed a demand-driven agricultural research development agenda to bring about significant change. Additionally, he suggested comprehensive stakeholder analysis and mapping as the foundation for all future actions undertaken by the Ministry.  

Julio Prosacco

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