Gombe: CISLAC partner legislature, Agric Min. on domestication of National Agric Extension Policy

Murtala Mohammed (left) and Munachi Ugochukwu (right) from CISLAC during their visit to the Gombe State House of Assembly. At the centre is the Speaker, Abubakar Mohammed Luggerewo. 

Williams Ago, Gombe

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has began an advocacy drive in Gombe State towards the implementation of the National Agricultural Extension Policy (NAEP).

The policy, if implement in the State is expected to see an improvement in the agricultural extension services to smallholder women and men farmers, thereby, increasing their farm yields, thus keying into the Together Against Poverty (TAP) project.

To this end, Munachi Ugochukwu, Senior Programme officer, CISLAC/Transparency International, Nigeria, led the advocacy visit in Gombe State.

During the visit, the team had interaction with authorities in the State Ministry of Agriculture, State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), Gombe State Project Coordinator of the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL), a World Bank Project and the Gombe State House of Assembly where they discussed on opportunities for collaboration on way forward.

At the Gombe State House of Assembly where CISLAC had presented a congratulatory letter from it's Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani to the Speaker of the State Assembly over his re-election into the House, Mr. Munachi told the Speaker and other legislators that even though Gombe is an agrerian State, farmers are yet to benefit from standard farming practices that would yield maximum results from their produce.

While calling for the legislators' commitment in domesticating the policy in the State through increased budgetary allocation to Agriculture among others, Mr Munachi said there is going to be a high level engagement with farmers through direct and indirect means such as radio discussion programmes.

He said, discussions during the sessions will focus on Smart agriculture, advisory on seedlings, fertilizer application, weed/pest control, dam preparation and eventually exploring product standardization processes for export value addition.

He explained that, the radio programme hopes to draw listenership from small-scale farmers in the state, leveraging radio as an affordable, widely available, and accessible medium to disseminate relevant information to all levels of education and socio-economic groups ahead of the coming farming season.

According to him, "the Together Against Poverty (TAP) project is supported by Oxfam and seeks to promote fairer and more resilient food systems that improve the livelihoods of women and men small-scale producers in Bauchi and Gombe states".

Our Correspondent reports that the meetings to both the Ministry of Agriculture and the GSHA had the same primary purpose- to introduce the TAP project and draw commitments and support in the implementation of its activities

Responding, Speaker of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Abubakar Mohammed Luggerewo, described Agriculture as a critical sector in addressing poverty across the globe, as such, stakeholders must put hands together to reduce the high level of poverty.

He decried the inadequacy of Agricultural extension workers in Gombe State commensurate to it's population but believes that the current Government in the State is working towards addressing that.

While assuring that he will intimate the House committee on Agriculture to work with CISLAC's plans so that the programme will achieve it's objectives, Mr. Luggerewo also assured that budgetary allocation to Agriculture in the State has been encouraging as compared to other States.

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