The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, has lamented the poor funding of Agricultural Development Programmes (ADP) in many states of the country.
As it raised an alarm over the low performance of the programmes across most states of the federation due to insufficient funding.
The lamentation was made by the Executive Director of the institute, Professor James Adediran while delivering a welcome address during at the opening of 31st South West Zonal Workshop of Research Extension Farmers Input Linkage System (REFILS).
The themed of the workshop was “Quality Control and Value Addition: Panacea to Agricultural Marketing Challenges in Nigeria” which was held at the institute’s training hall.
The Executive Director expressed dismay over the low performance and achievement of ADPs in most states due to poor funding.
He pointed out that lots can still be done by state governments toward moving agricultural sector forward in their respective states.
According to him, “I am concerned on the level of performance and achievement of most ADPs which are low because of insufficient funding by their state governments. Your Excellencies, while in some zones of the country, the activities which form the framework of research extension farmers input linkage system have seriously dropped in content and context.
“Your Excellencies, I sincerely appreciate your enviable agricultural policy and its implementation for agricultural growth in your respective state. Definitely, a lot is still to be done towards moving agriculture forward in the states and South West in general since the demand for food is much higher than supply.
“Our population is skyrocketing daily, but, food production is still at low ebb because we rely mostly on the peasant farmers to feed the nation. The greater percentage of those engaged in farming are in small scale.
“Therefore, there is urgent need to embark on the new strategies that will increase output and give economic returns on agricultural activities so as to achieve sustainable food and fibre production.
Zonal Coordinator of South West REFILS Dr. Olukemi Lawal while addressing journalists informed that the annual workshop was organised to find solutions to the problems being faced by farmers across the South West zone.
According to her, “The purpose of this workshop is to bring stakeholders together, we are bringing together scientists, extension workers and farmers to deliberate in ensuring food security in Nigeria.
“We come together to deliberate and review the report of Agricultural programmes, we shall also deliberate on them. We should find solutions to major problems confronting the farmers”.
She maintained that one of the issues to be deliberated upon is how to fashion out measures in forestalling incessant encroachment on farm settlement by Fulani herdsmen resulting into clashes between the duo.
She then advocated for establishment of grazing settlement so as to forestall continuous encroachment by farmlands by Fulani herdsmen.