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Nigeria now has 1 extension worker to 3000 farmers — Ogbeh

Agriculture Minister, Chief Audu  Ogbeh, has lamented that extension workers have almost disappeared in Nigeria as the country presently has an average of “one extension…

Agriculture Minister, Chief Audu  Ogbeh, has lamented that extension workers have almost disappeared in Nigeria as the country presently has an average of “one extension worker to about 3,000 farmers.”
The minister disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja while delivering the keynote address at the National Workshop on a New Agricultural Policy for Nigeria, which was organized by the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN).
Ogbeh noted that the ministry will consider submissions from the forthcoming National Agriculture Council meeting and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector before coming out with a road map to address policy and other challenges facing the sector.
The minister noted that no farmer can make profit with 18 – 20% interest that Nigerian banks are charging on agriculture loans and said it must be pegged at 5% for farmers to keep them in business.
He also called for heavy subsidies in agriculture as done in UK, US and other countries of the world to assist the farmers in Nigeria.
Chief Ogbeh assured that farmer/herder clashes will be solved, saying: “We will grow grasses for the animals to eat.”
Speaking at the workshop, House Committee Chairman on Agricultural Production and Services, Rep. Mohammed Mongunu, has assured that the wishes of Nigerian farmers will be reflected in the 2016 appropriation bill currently lying at the National Assembly.
According to him, “This workshop is apt especially at the time of passing the 2016 budget. Thoughts and wishes of all practicing farmers will be reflected in the budget.”

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