Focus on farmers for effective economic diversification – Don

agricProf. Adegbenga Adekoya, the Head of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ibadan, has urged the Federal Government to focus on farmers for effective agriculture economy diversification.

Adekoya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan that the government should focus on farmers because only them can make the revolution realisable.

The professor of Social Engineering and Agricultural Extension stressed that the role of agric extentionists should be highly promoted because only them are trained to interact with the farmers and assist them.

“A lot of agric policies have failed in the country because the link with farmers was weak; extension was relegated to the background.

“All developed countries through agric don’t joke with extension, so there is need for us to work with farmers through agric extension,” he said.
Adekoya noted that his department has produced professionals who are impactful in the agric sector.

“We have produced at least 2,000 professionals ranging from BSc, MSc to PHD holders since the inception of the department; the number has increased in the past 20 years.

“We have been at the forefront in grass root development; we have shifted from Sole Farmer focus to Farm Family, gender dimension in agric production, and value addition.

“We train and empower farmers to create income generation for them, we collaborate with some bodies including College of Medicine, UCH,” he said.

He also disclosed that the department plans to become a global beacon for rural/community development in the future.

“We hope to be in forefront of extension in Africa at least, we want our communities to benefit from the university through our community interactions, we need financial assistance, bus to visit farmers,” Adekoya said.

NAN reports that the department will celebrate its 40th anniversary beginning from April 17 to 20, with the theme “Repositioning Agricultural Extension for Sustainable Agricultural Development and National Economic Regeneration’’.

Adekoya explained that the aim of the programme is to help the department alumni to rediscover themselves, revisit the department and identify areas where they can assist to move it forward.

“There will be agric based lectures, familiarisation tour of the department, luncheon, awards, among others,” he said.

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