One-stop agric center to cover 774 Nigerian Local Governments

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The Federal Government will set up One-Stop Centers for agricultural services in each of the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Umar, said this in Bauchi at a one day workshop organised by the ministry for farmers associations in the state.

Umar, represented by the Deputy Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension of the ministry, Mrs Sugra Mahmood, said the center,when established, would avail farmers and other stakeholder of information on agricultural value chain.

He said that the centres would provide wholesome information services to dealers, seed companies, agrochemical dealers, processors, marketers, fabricators, tractor service providers and credit providers.

Umar emphasised that the whole concept was to explore potentials and reduce constraints preventing the country from achieving sustainable food and nutrition security.

He further said that it would also create a new thinking of seeing agriculture as a business and also address the challenge of poor extension services to farmers.

Umar said that the Centres were to be operated on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to facilitate easy deployment of technologies, innovations and production enhancement resources to farmers.

Speaking on the purpose of the workshop, he said it was organised to enable stakeholders discuss how the Centres would commence operation without delay.

The permanent secretary noted that the workshop would be participatory to enhance comprehension, understanding and retention of key issues.

He urged the participants to contribute towards the setting up of such centres and also join in the partnership.

The Deputy Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension (FDAE), Mrs Sugra Mahmood,had earlier!recalled that agriculture was the single venture that brought the country out of its long time recess.

Sugra said that the One-Stop Centre was deliberately initiated to enable the three tiers of government provide a place for farmers and other actors, to access wholesome farm information and services.

She said that government would provide administration buildings, prototype shops, roads, boreholes, electricity and fence in all the Centres.

Sugra said that private agro-dealers and other vendors too were expected to provide soil testing and metrological services, inputs, mechanised services and other services at the centers.

Credit resources, extension services, ITC facilities, technology demonstration and skill acquisition plots for crops, pounds for fish and pens for livestock will also be available.

“Currently we have six fully established and functional Centres in the county and more will be done to assist farmers,” she said.

Also speaking at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Ministry of Agricultural, Dr. Bala Lukshi, observed with dismay, dearth of extension workers being experienced in the state.

Lukshi noted that the problem as a result of mass retirement of extension workers without corresponding replacement.