THE Livelihoods Improvement Family Enterprises Programme in the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) says it will collaborate with the Edo Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) to strengthen extension service delivery to farmers in the state.
Dr Clement Uwem, the National Component Coordinator, Rural Institution Youth and Gender, LIFE-ND made this known during a one-day policy engagement with extension agents on agricultural extension service delivery in Benin on Thursday.
Uwem said the meeting became necessary because extension service is critical to LIFE-ND project and agricultural development.
“Agriculture is being carried out in an environment where climate change is affecting food production, what that means is that we now have to use climate smart agricultural technologies.
“And we can only find the ADP to have that reserved knowledge to help the youth who are coming into agriculture.
“So, this engagement with the ADP will be a continuous one for them to provide extension services to LIFE-ND project in its four prioritised value chains of rice, cassava, fisheries and poultry production.
“LIFE-ND project will be engaging both public and private extension agencies to drive output of crops and livestocks within the rural areas,” he said.
Uwem said that LIFE-ND project is an initiative of the Federal Government funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
He noted that the scheme was designed to boost income generation and food security in the Niger Delta, using incubation model.
“Under the incubation model, we identify successful business persons in agriculture in the community and attach youths to train under them.
“After two production circles, they are given opportunity to practise,” he added.
Also, the Edo Coordinator of LIFE-ND, Mr Jude Ekpu, said: “The LIFE-ND beneficiaries are expected to continue to enjoy the services provided by the ADP”.
According to him, the project has trained the first batch of 125 incubatees and 25 incubators since its inception in the state.
In his remarks, the Director of Extension Services in Edo ADP, Mr Princewill Igbinedion, noted that the state government had concluded plans to employ no fewer than 288 extension agents in the state.
Igbinedion said the efforts of the state government is to enhance agricultural extension delivery system and guarantee food sufficiency in the state.(NAN)
– July 16, 2021 @ 08:55 GMT