By Najem Francis, Sokoto
The Sokoto Agricultural Development Project (SADP) is striving to achieve the international standard of one extension agent to 400 farmers, the Programme Manager of the project, Malam Abubakar S. Malami, has said.
Malami who was fielding questions from newsmen said that ninety-three degree and diploma holders had been employed while plans were in the offing to employ an additional 300 in the coming year.
According to him, sixty-seven out of those employed were deployed to the extension services department alone.
He commended the Aminu Waziri Tambuwal’s administration for resuscitating all the activities of the project with sufficient funding; adding that the era of owing workers’ entitlement was now a thing of the past.
He said that thirty-four employees who were eligible for promotion had been duly elevated and they were made up of twenty-eight senior officers and six junior officers.
He observed that unlike what obtained in the past when for fifteen to seventeen years no extension worker was sent to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, for training, forty-one extension services agents had been sent to ABU under the present dispensation to acquire up-to-date skills in modern farming.
He added that another batch of fifty extension agents would soon be sent for a similar training, saying that the support services of the SADP covered all the twenty-three local government areas of the state
He explained that the farming population in the state was on the increase with the participation of the traditional farmers as well as some wealthy individuals who had taken to farming.
He disclosed that the problem of transportation had been taken care of with the provision of eight serviceable vehicles against the two he inherited while twenty motorcycles had been provided and another batch of twenty was on the way.