ActionAid Country Director, Ojobo Atuluku
The Justice, Development and Peace Centre (JDPC), Ondo State chapter, has faulted the poor priority given to agricultural extension services in the state, warning that it will serve as an obstacle to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals in 2030.
The JDPC Director, Rev Fr. Damian Adesegha, said this yesterday in Akure at the community participatory assessment of government expenditure scorecards on small-scale women farmers’ access to extension services.
This was disclosed in a document by the Public Financing of Agriculture (PFA) project being implemented by ActionAid Nigeria to strengthen the capacity of farmers and women organisations in the country.
It was carried out in Bauchi, Delta, Ebonyi Gombe, Kogi, Kwara, Ondo states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), rating Gombe the lowest on 33 per cent awareness on Agricultural Development Programme (ADP).
According to the report, the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension (FDAE) had a total budget N936,661,000 appropriated from 2012 to 2016, but N603,699,242.32 was released with 62.6 per cent budget performance.
But in Ondo State, a total of N346,063,642 was budgeted to fund Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (AEAS) from 2013 to 2016, but nothing was released for the purpose.
Adesegha lamented that the roles of extension services at improving agric productivity, wealth creation and quality of life have been “consistently inconsistent over time.”
He said: “We can adjure that this has negatively affected agriculture as a means of sustainable livelihood for farmers and a viable alternative to petrodollars.”
He described the poor priority as a huge threat to the Goal one and Goal 2 of SDG 2030 to eradicate poverty and achieve food security, improved nutrition and agricultural sustainability.
Source: The Guardian.