Prof. Sani Miko, Country Director, SASSAKAWA/SG2000 says the oraganisation is working with eight universities in the country to train agric extension service workers.
The Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA)is a non-profit non-governmental organization with Regional Office in Addis Adaba, works to promote the development, demonstration and widespread adoption of improved food production and post-production technologies for smallholder farmers
Miko explained that the training was imperative to make the job of extension service workers more practically and theoretically relevant.
He made the disclosure on the sideline of SAA/SG2000 Stakeholders National Annual Review and Planning Workshop.
The workshop with the theme: “Take it to the Farmer” was held at the National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaisons Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
He identified the universities to include; ABU, Zaria and many others.
The Country Director said the partnership was under SASSAKAWA Africa For Extension Programme (SAFE Programme).
Miko said: “This is a progamme introduced to improve the knowledge of extension agents in University of Cape-Cost, Ghana in 1992.
We understand that extension agents that reached apex to give vital contribution to agricultural extension were not happy with the job because they were HND graduates, they remained stagnant and cannot be promoted further.
Again, they don’t go for a knowledge update on modern farming, hence the introduction of the programme to assist,
He also said that the participants of the SAFE Programme were given 60 per cent practicals with 40 per cent theory, adding that the programme was meant for extension agents already in the service.
Earlier, at the workshop, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbe said Nigeria had worked with SAA/S2000 since 2009 to address issues on post-harvest handling and access to markets by small-holder famers.
Ogbe, represented by a Director in the ministry, Mr. Dele Olorefemi said: “It is worthy to note that smallholder farmers need to be aware of post-harvest handling of their produce/produce to enable them make utmost profit out of their livelihood activities.
This workshop is timely in that it coincides with the agenda of the ministry in which smallholder farmers are targeted to receive appropriate education on crops value chain the ministry is promoting” .