Experts have reiterated the importance of extension services,saying it will be critical for farmers in the country if Nigeria is to attain the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) by 2020.
They pointed out that for Nigeria to attain the SDGs by 2020, therewas need to move away from subsistence system of farming tomechanised farming so as to increase productivity, yield and encourage women and young people to thrive in the sector.
These were the views of panelists at different sessions at an event titled, “Feeding Futures Africa,” held in Lagos recently.
They agreed that the devastating impact of climate change onagriculture had seen farmers lose their crops, livestocks and livelihood to drought and flood, and some other natural disaster.
According to the Chairman, Governing Board of Human and Environment Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre, Mr. Olarenwaju Surj, the Lake Chad that is a major source of livelihood for millions of people from the four neighbouring countries namely Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad.
According to him, the absence of irrigation around this area hadcaused a lot of people to migrate.
He said, “our continent does not fare too well in provision of extension services and other critical support to farmers, thus adding to the constant fragile nature of food security.“
Some panelists spoke on topics ranging from the effects of climate change on food security and conflicts in Nigeria, role of public regulators and Public Service Agencies as enabler, among others.
The Co-founder, Farm Crowdy, Tope Omotolani noted,“Technologies should be taken to the farmers and should be adaptive in nature so as to accommodate farmers difference- language barriers, literacy levels and other factors.
“Innovative technology should be bottom-driven and indigenous in nature, made simple and everybody must contribute their competencies for Agricultural initiative to succeed.“