Redefining the Nigerian Agricultural Extension System for Effective Agricultural Transformation

Izuogu Chibuzo U Atasie Chikerenma


Redefining of agricultural extension service delivery has been considered lately as an essential option to remedy the decline in efficient organization, administration and delivery of extension due to so many challenges facing effectiveness of the system. Agriculture is an important sector of the economy with high potentials for employment generation, food security and poverty reduction. These potentials has remained largely untapped which has led to the dwindling performance of the sector both domestically and in the international trade over years. The Nigerian government seeks to exploit these potentials through her Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). The major challenges of Nigeria’s agricultural extension and advisory services have been identified to include: lack of a legislated agricultural extension policy, compounded by policy somersaults; grossly inadequate and untimely funding; poor leadership and coordination, low private sector participator, very weak Research-Extension-Farmer-Inputs Linkages system and driven by ineffective top-down, supply-driven, extension approaches. The Nigerian agricultural extension system should properly fit into the ATA road map to address the critical challenges of agricultural extension and advisory services to transform it into a participatory, demand-response, market-oriented and ICT driven service that will provide for all the extension needs of all actors along the targeted commodity value chains of interest. Three key features are essential; inclusion of all farmers as target beneficiaries; effective identification of farmers’ extension service needs, and an accountability system to provide better agricultural extension services to farmers. Compelling evidence among the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) was found that market-orientated agricultural policy reform leads to higher rural incomes, increased agricultural productivity and reduced rural poverty, with countries such as Brazil and China leading the way in achieving these outcomes. The opportunity to reposition extension practice in Nigeria has never been greater-if the people within the Extension System can find the courage to change themselves and then to change the organization.

Keywords: agricultural extension, Delivery service, Agricultural transformation

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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