Alhaji Ibrahim Malami, the Project Manager of Sokoto State Agricultural Development Project (SADP), has said the state government had employed 67 additional agricultural extension workers to boost agriculture in the state.
Malami told journalists in Sokoto on Friday that the state government also distributed improved seedlings to farmers in 2017.
According to him, the efforts are geared toward encouraging increased agricultural production in line with the drive to diversify the economy.
He also said that the state government was working toward achieving the ratio of one extension worker to 400 farmers in state.
Malami also said the state government was targeting to employ 300 extension workers before the end of 2018.
According to him, the state government accords top priority to agriculture because it provides jobs to the people and food security for the nation.
He said that SADP was partnering with Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, for the training new extension workers and retraining of the old ones on modern agronomic practices.
The project manager said that the agency also partnered with IAR on the production of improved seedlings, relevant to the climatic condition of the state.
He said the seedlings would be distributed to various categories of farmers in the 23 local government areas of the state.
Malami expressed delight that the collaboration had yielded positive results, adding that most farmers were happy with multiple yields brought about the development and the deployment of extension workers on routine supervision of farms.
He said that during his two-year stewardship, five project vehicles were refurbished while 20 motorcycles were distributed to extension workers to facilitate coverage of the rural areas.
The project manager said he cleared all workers’ genuine liabilities, promoted 28 senior officers besides routine training which was absent in the past 18 years.
He commended Gov. Aminu Tambuwal for his support and pledged to evolve more initiatives to rejuvenate agricultural practices to modern yielding business across the state.
Malami also said that livestock keeping was also enhanced in addition to de-worming, vaccinations and other activities such as enlightenment on the care for animals conducted by SADP workers.
He stressed that 65 tube wells were drilled to facilitate irrigation, adding that the agency was targeting to drilled additional 3,000 wells after the raining season.