The Federal Government (FG) has restated its commitment to food security in the country through its agricultural extension programmes.
The Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mallam Abubakar Nuhu-Fikpo, gave this indication during the official flag-off of FG’s ‘Agricultural Extension Scheme’ training in Owerri.
Nuhu-Fikpo, represented by the NDE Coordinator in Imo, Mrs Ngozi Ihenacho said that the five-day training is captured under the Directorate’s Department of Rural Employment Promotion (REP).
He explained that under the scheme, 600 graduates will be trained across the country, with 50 each from two states in each geo-political zone.
He described agricultural extension services as part of activities in the agricultural value-chain with a high potential for youth employment hence their importance in boosting agricultural productivity for food security.
“This scheme will improve farming methods as a way of increasing food production to stimulate the rural economy, reduce rural-urban migration of tertiary school graduates and generate employment for trained agricultural extension personnel.
“I urge the participants to take the lectures and training seriously so that they can eventually become employers of labour in their various communities,” he said.
Speaking, the Director of the REP department, Mr Michael Mbata called on beneficiaries to treasure the opportunity as a guarantee for improved food security.
Mbata, represented by a senior staff of the department, Mr Chimaobi Eleleme added that the training will provide beneficiaries with viable skills with which to take care of themselves and the larger society.
“Agricultural extension promotes agriculture as an engine of economic growth and there is no better opportunity to learn viable skills in this aspect of agriculture than this one that is free,” he said.