Npower agro, an initiative of President Buhari’s Social Investment Program is one of the ways the government is planning to diversify the economy and reduce unemployment. The initiative hopes to train agricultural extension workers, enabling them to serve as an intermediaries between Research and farmers. They would ensure farmers employ the best practices by helping in their decision making through the use of appropiate knowledge.
Prof. Mohammed Othma, the Director-General, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liason Services stated that the training excersice put forward by the government had being carried out culminating in the training of 774 extension personnel to be deployed as 30,000 youths to be mobilized under N-Power Agro
It is expected that the scheme would ensure the full benefits of the agricultural sector would be realized, as farmers rural farmers would be able to increase their crop yield through the the use of important information.
Although the importance of this initiative by the Federal government cannot be underestimated, one cannot argue that there are bound to be flaws in the system, In a society where youths like to take the easy way out, there might be a shortage of workers who are passionately intrested in agriculture and are willing to pass this knowledge tirelessly to farmers in rural areas, engaging them with such tact and skill that the farmers would be willing to change their age-long practices for mordern techniques. This might lead to a wastage of funds which could have being employed in addressing farmers problems. Are there any structures put in place to evaluate the impact of the agric extension workers?
Assuming the system is successful (which it could possibly be) and farmers experience high yield, other problems such as finding a ready market for these products, storage, transportation e.t.c arises.
It is imperative that states be taken to address the various challenges faced by farmers in such a way that when best practices are employed and crop yield is on the rice, farmers would have an enabling market to preserve, transport and sell these products.
Provision of good roads, a functional train system, Establishment of Food processing factories and an active involvement in helping farmers find a market within the country and abroad, would do some good in ensuring the agricultural sector achieves stability and growth.