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Issues for Agricultural Extension Policy: Structures and Institutional Arrangement

Authors
Publisher
Agricultural Extension Society of Nigeria
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Agricultural Science
  • Law
  • Political Science

Abstract

This paper examined issues pertaining to structures and institutional arrangement for agricultural extension policy. It highlighted the broad objectives of the new policy thrust in agriculture in Nigeria, and identified sub-policies that were expected to facilitate growth of the agricultural sector of the economy. Agricultural extension, among others, was identified as an integral part of the agricultural policy. Transfer of agricultural information and innovations was highlighted as the prime responsibility of agricultural extension. It was observed that extension has not lived up to this responsibility due to a number of reasons, principal among which is inadequate funding among others. The Agricultural Development Programmed (ADP) was identified as the institutional agency responsible for the transfer of agricultural information and innovations to farmers. The ADP was observed to operate the Unified Agricultural Extension System (UAES) using the Training and Visit (T&V) extension system. In order to ensure effectiveness in the discharge of its mandate to its clientele, the extension agency needed to maintain working linkages with research organsations/institutions. About 15 national agricultural research institutes, which are mainly concerned with technology (innovation/ knowledge) creation/development, were identified. Also three universities of agricultures as well as faculties of the conventional universities in the country were identified. The need to secure a stable and sustained source of financing agricultural extension was identified as the most difficult and challenging policy issue facing the agricultural extension services in Nigeria today. It was recommended that a legal legislative action be put in place, which would, among other things, define the responsibilities of the various tiers of government towards financing agricultural extension services in Nigeria. It was also recommended that a demand-driven (private) extension service be institutionalized to thrive along with the UAES, which has often been seen as part of the social services rendered by government for the farming populace.

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