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FG to revitalise extension system, considers institute

The Research-Extension-Farmer-Input-Linkage-System (REFILS) is the platform that brings all the key stakeholders in the agricultural sector together in the development of agro technology, adoption, dissemination…

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has said that the draft National Agricultural Extension Policy waiting for the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and legislation will address extension delivery problems in the country.

The policy also seeks the establishment of the National Institute for Agricultural Extension to enable setting up of standards for and upholding quality control and assurance in the operation and practice of extension as a profession.

Speaking at the repositioning of Research-Extension-Farmer-Input-Linkage-System (REFILS) event in Abuja, the Director, Federal Department of Extension, Engineer Frank Kudla who represented the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe said the scheme would monitor and provide needed support for effective extension, input and research linkage with farmers.

The Research-Extension-Farmer-Input-Linkage-System (REFILS) is the platform that brings all the key stakeholders in the agricultural sector together in the development of agro technology, adoption, dissemination and utilization.

“It is through REFILS that the state extension services (ADPs) are linked to research institutions on a regular basis. It is the channel by which improved technology is sourced and farmers’ reactions to new technologies are harnessed as feedback to research institutes to enhance appropriate technology development,” he said.

According to him, “REFILS has however remained weak, uncoordinated and poorly funded and with low participation by the private sector, REFILS need to be properly funded so that it will carry all her activities as at when due, to ensure the development of useful, relevant and appropriate technologies and their effective dissemination to meet the needs, opportunities and challenges of all the actors on the targeted value chains.”

 

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