Agency report

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For Nigeria to swim out of economic recession, the country must take agricultural extension services more seriously.

That is an advice from the vice-chancellor of  Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Ibrahim Garba.

Garba, who was represented by Prof. Ezra Bako-Amoss, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, at the opening ceremony of 2016 National Agricultural Extension Review Meeting said: “I believe that effective agricultural extension is a sure strategy in charting our way out of economic recession.

“The global reduction in oil price, the self-inflicted reduction in crude oil production capacity and the fall in value of Naira have all contributed to put Nigeria in a serious economic crisis.

“Agriculture has been identified as a way out of the crisis through increasing the production of food and cash crops and guaranteeing national food security,” he said.

The VC also said for Nigeria to be food secure, the pivotal role of agricultural extension services must not be undermined.

He believes there is no better time to discuss Nigeria agriculture than now. Garba said some of the recent news about food security in Nigeria paint gloomy pictures of poverty and hunger.

“Inflation rate rose from 9.6 per cent in January 2016 to 18.3 per cent in October 2016.”

The meeting drew participants from Agricultural Development Programmes, seed companies, farmers’ associations as well as other stakeholders in the industry across the country.