FG to Partner USAID in Training of Agricultural Extension Workers

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By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

The federal government has offered to partner the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the training of agricultural workers.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogheh, made the proposal at the valedictory project of Market II in Nigeria.

Market II was a development programme funded by USAID since 2012 to assist smallholder farmers and others in the agriculture value chain achieve improved yields.

The US development agency trained 500 extension workers as master trainers in the value chain of agricultural production including, threshing, input sales, bulking services, book-keeping, distribution, tilling and irrigation services.

Ogheh said in order to fix the vacuum the departure of Market II in Nigeria will create, government has approached USAID to undertake the training of value chain and field workers of the ministry.

The minister said the training would subsequently be upscaled to other states of the federation where the ministry will take over so that the benefits will be maximized.

“The federal government appreciates the work by USAID along the value chain in 15 states for farmers and other stakeholders since 2012. Though Market ll is departing the country, this is not the end as USAID will be engaged to help in the training of our farmers,” Ogbeh represented by Dr Fatima Aliyu, a director at the ministry, disclosed.

The USAID Mission Director in Nigeria, Stephen Haykin, said about 1.4 million rural households were engaged by the agecy in agricultural activities since 2012.

Haykin also added during the period, 50 per cent female and 30 percent youth were engaged in farming to promote economic growth.

He said since 2012, N4.9 billion has been invested by the private sector to support Nigeria in attaining economic growth and food security.

Poverty, Religious Misconception Affecting Girl-Child Education in Sokoto

Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto

The Special Adviser to the Sokoto State Governor on Girl-Child Education, Dr. Amamatu Yusuf, yesterday identified poverty and religious misconception as major factors affecting girl-child education in the state.

She made the remarks yesterday at the third annual prize giving and graduation ceremony of Tambuwal Arabic and Science Academy in Sokoto.

Amamatu noted that if women are denied access to education, half of the population would remain ignorant.

According to her, ignoring  access to girl child education will spell doom for the progress and development of the society.

The special adviser called on parents in the state to enrol their female children in schools and strive to ensure their retention.

“Parents should always ensure that they enrol their children in schools to acquire both western and Islamic education.

“This is the best legacy they can bequeath to their children and will never regret doing so,”she said.

She expressed satisfaction with the performance of the students of the school and urged them to put more efforts in the search for knowledge.

The special adviser reiterated the commitment of the present administration towards improving girl child education in the state.

Amamatu to this end, commended the tutors for imparting sound knowledge on the students and urged them to sustain the tempo.

In a remark, the proprietor of the school, Dr. Ahmed Yusuf, called on the graduating students to be good ambassadors of the school wherever the find themselves.

He called on parents in the state, to always give maximum support to the education of their children.