Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has advocated the need to link farmers to extension services, saying the nation’s agricultural sector has been witnessing setbacks due to poor farming practices.
Obaseki made the call while declaring open the maiden edition of the Edo Food and Agric Fair, holding at Imaguero College, Benin, from Dec. 10 to Dec. 20.
He said that most farmers lacked information about modern farming techniques as well as understanding agricultural value chain, which had led to neglect of the sector.
“Extension agents should be able to take research findings and information to farmers; help them to understand their peculiar needs and how they can get government support.
“In the past, extension agents took the information to farmers and our farmers did well.
“The role of government is to make the people rich. My administration will look for better ways of tackling the problems farmers face in the state,’’ he said.
Obaseki expressed optimism that subsequent editions of the fair would create a ready market for agricultural products produced in the state through government support.
“This sort of fair from next year should create a market for people who we supported through various initiatives to bring their agricultural produce either raw or processed form, so that people from within and outside the state can buy,’’ the governor said.
He urged farmers to be receptive to the state government’s assistance as his administration would in 2019 introduce the School Feeding Programme to ensure that the food items were sourced from farms close to the schools.