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Why Extension Is Essential in Soil Conservation and Agricultural Productivity (2)

There are many factors militating against access to quality soil for agricultural production in Nigeria. In northern part of Katsina state, El-Ladan, Maiwada, and Rumah (2014) identified some natural and man-made factors that are affecting soil quality in the part of the state. 

The identified natural and man-made factors are deforestation, soil degradation and erosion, biodiversity loss and desertification. This is a matter of common knowledge for it’s a major feature and repeated occurrence in many frontline northern states. Hence, there is serious problem of land degradation with its attendant consequences on the agricultural productivity in Nigeria (Oyekale, 2012). 

Also, in southwestern part of Nigeria, the issues of soil compaction, low soil fertility, termite infestation, erosion, hardpan formation, poor drainage and land use intensification have identified identified as the issues that are adversely affecting soil quality in Itapaji watershed in Ikole Local Government Area of Ekiti State (Adeyolanu, Are, Adelana, Oluwatosin, Denton, Ande, Egbetokun,  Ogunsumi, and Adediran, 2018). 

Without any doubt, the challenge of poor soil quality in Nigeria is a cross-regional challenge. In addition, most of the Nigerian soils are fairly good but not very great in supporting very high level of agricultural productivity. According to Agboola (1979), Nigeria soils that have high, good, medium, low and very low potentials for agricultural productivity are 0%, 5.52%, 46.45%, 31.72 and 16.31%, respectively. This suggests that there should be pragmatic steps to avert reduction in the quality of available lands.

Consequently, there is need to ensure that all the existing categories of soils in terms of their ability to enhance agricultural productivity especially those in medium category and above are properly protected and maintained. Hence, the seriousness at which land especially the crop supporting components of soil is conserved, the greater the ability to make judicious use of the soil available on land for the attainment of meaningful agricultural production and increased agricultural productivity.

So, what is the connection between soil conservation and sustaining agricultural productivity? Holistic understanding of the concept of soil conservation and the appropriate measures to be taken in ensuring soil conservation are very germane in achieving robust, comprehensive and sustainable soil conservation. Soil conservation can be understood from the various explanations that have been enunciated by different scholars and organizations. 

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (1997), soil conservation denotes the safeguarding of soil from erosion and other elements that can degrade soil in order to sustain its fertility and productivity. It mainly involves watershed management and water use.  Also, Baumhardt, and Blanco-Canqui (2014) described soil conservation as the practices and management strategies that are employed in ensuring that that soil erosion is controlled to prevent loss of soil particles either through water or air.   

The importance of soil conservation is underscored by its relevance to optimum agricultural productivity.  Realisation of sustainable and robust agricultural productivity will be elusive regardless of whether all other factors are available if the quality of soil is poor. Dabi, Fikirie and Mulualem (2017) affirmed that the conservation of soil, water and vegetation are very crucial in achieving higher productivity of crop and livestock. 

Furthermore, National Academy of Sciences (1993) stressed the fact that quality soil contributes tremendously to agricultural productivity directly and indirectly because it is the storehouse for water and nutrients, which are very essential to plant growth. Rice production in Thailand stagnated for ten years in terms of yield due to the deterioration of soil quality (Office of Agriculture and Economics, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (OAE), (2016). 

Invariably, the inability to ensure the conservation of soil used for rice production in Thailand affected the production and productivity of rice in the country persistently for a decade. Another inspiring example is from Japan where only 13% of the land in s arable, however, de to the doggedness of the nation in soil fertility build up and consistent maintenance of soil fertility it has enhanced agricultural production in the country (Nations Encyclopedia, undated). 

Sustaining agricultural productivity should be a matter of grave national interest. This is because the agricultural sector of any developing economy like Nigeria plays a vital role in the long-term sustainable development of such economy. In Nigeria, the sector provides employment, food for domestic consumption and raw materials for agro-based industries. 

Given the importance of this sector and the complexity in the nation’s agricultural development amidst varying challenges such as fragmented small farm holdings, low literacy level of the farmers, aging farm population, low productivity, etc, it becomes imperative that the sector should be effectively supported if it must play its roles in the economic development of the nation. According to Yahaya (2017), the agricultural productivity is very low in Nigeria. The low productivity has made Nigeria to lose its past glory as a leading country in the export of very important crops such as groundnut, oil palm, cocoa, rice, cotton and so on. 

The country is not only experiencing low productivity in some of the very important crops that have high value in the world agricultural market and are contributing significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of countries, it is equally overwhelmed by the challenge of decline in the productivity of some of the aforementioned. The productivity of some selected crops in Nigeria has been highlighted in a 2016 table sourced from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Yahaya (2017) maintained that there is not a single crop in the nation with satisfactory performance requisite for export purpose. The situation is so disturbing that the deficiency is experienced for all the crops in one or combinations of these aspects. The aspects include production, productivity, export capacity and consistent or improvement in their performance in the global agricultural market. The shortage experienced in the supply of all the above listed agricultural products can be solved if there is proper development of human capital and the deployment of state of the art technologies and improved practices in the agricultural commodities value-chain. 

The level of agricultural productivity calls for serious concern. The extremely low agricultural productivity in Nigeria is not peculiar to any part of the country. It’s actually a challenge that is serious both in the northern and southern parts of the country. The average Nigerian smallholders produce 80% of the food and considered prominent feature of the informal sector with land holding of 0.2 – 2.0 ha; generally poorly resourced; largely family labor dependent; suffered low and marginal productivity with less benefits from economies of scale (Yahaya, 2017). 

This is considered abysmal performance when compared to Malaysia that is presently flourishing economically as a result of harnessing the full potentials of its agricultural sector. The low productivity in agriculture and building upon the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) led to the build-up of the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) framework which seeks to unlock Nigeria’s full agricultural potential by solving underlying challenges in its agricultural system. The identified challenges includes the following: 

i. Policy Framework: Nigeria suffers from policy instability driven by high rate of turnover of programmes and personnel, which in turn has made the application of policy instruments unstable. The outcome is an uneven development pathway for agriculture; lack of policy accountability, transparency and due process of law, relating to willful violation of the constitution and subsidiary legislations governing the agriculture sector. That in turn has made the business environment unpredictable and discourages investors. 

To address this challenge, Nigeria needs to create a policy structure that matches evidence-driven coordination among decision-making authorities with common and public goals for an agricultural transformation of the country. Building that evidence base requires that Nigeria adopt a consistent fact base to drive decision making, as well as build on prior successes.

ii. Political Commitment: This pertains to the non-implementation of international protocols or conventions agreed to with other members of the comity of nations. For example, Nigeria has failed to achieve the targets in the Maputo Declaration that prescribes a minimum of 10% budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector. Political commitment at both the Federal and State levels will be required to enforce reforms.

iii. Agricultural Technology: Persistent shortcomings of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) to generate and commercialize new agricultural technologies that meet local market needs. NARS’s challenges have been relatively severe particularly around improved varieties of seed or other planting materials and breeds of livestock and aquatic species. The failure to also deliver already proven technologies available on the shelf to farmers’ fields where they are needed is a challenge. Addressing these will require better coordination among extension delivery system, the national agricultural research system, as well as public and private sector suppliers of agricultural inputs. 

iv. Infrastructure Deficit: Nigeria’s agricultural sector suffers from an infrastructure challenge. Infrastructure such as motor roads, railroads or irrigation dams are either insufficient, or when available, not cost competitive. They are thus unable to operate to support scale-driven agriculture. That imposes an added cost (up to 50% – 100%) on the delivered price of agricultural produce in Nigeria, making it uncompetitive compared to global peers. In order to boost farm productivity, raise the level of marketable surplus and expand value chain participants’ access to low cost infrastructure, Nigeria will need to rethink the business and operating model for agricultural infrastructure. 

v. Finance and Risk Management: Nigeria’s agriculture sector continues to have poor access to financial services that enable farmers and other agricultural producers to adopt new technologies, improve market linkages, and increase their resilience to economic shocks. Poor access to financial services that enable input suppliers, processors, traders and others in agribusiness to address liquidity and encourage targeted private sector engagement in agriculture remains a challenge. 

Lending rates still routinely range from 10% to 30% subject to whether the borrower is considered prime, has access to low cost, government-provided financing (BoA, CBN, BOI), or is offered a NIRSAL Plc. -financed interest rate subsidy and credit guarantee. To improve financing options and de-risk value chains further, Nigeria will need to intensify innovation in financing ecosystems.

vi. Institutional Reform and Realignment: Today, many federal and state agricultural institutions only exist on paper. In fact, the system even ignores local government areas which are actually where a majority of activity takes place. There is a need to streamline, clarify mandates and ensure continued accountability for results. Unless these issues are tackled, Nigeria will continue to struggle with the capacity of its agricultural institutions to deliver on their public mandates. 

A turnaround will mean, for example, adding more resources such as adding up to 15,000 extension workers, setting up more operational coordination mechanisms between the Federal Government and States in between the National Council of Agriculture, and linking rewards to performance. In addressing these constraints, the government will apply prudent, market based policy measures to grow the sector, with a clear recognition that widespread poverty reduction through the transformation of the agriculture sector is integral to the country’s long run economic growth trajectory and prosperity. 

Accordingly, the APP policy statement is anchored on three main pillars in line with the constitutional provision for the role of Federal Government in agricultural development. These are Promotion of agricultural investment; Financing agricultural development programmes; and Research for agricultural innovation and productivity.

Leaning on the APP framework, agricultural productivity in Nigeria can thus be enhanced with due considerations for fundamental shift and pathways where the following are top on the agenda at policy design and implementation.

Advancement of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)

According to Yahaya (2017), the nation can only survive if it weans itself from the present mono-economy. The only way out is to diversify the economy by adopting positive approach to agricultural development. Level of advancement in STI especially for the agricultural sector is a crucial determinant for satisfactory economic development in Nigeria. The nation will do very well once technology is used to galvanize its agro-based resources. 

The level of advancement in STI is contingent upon several factors. The factors include high level of human capital development, generation of sound, effective, efficient, cost effective, less complex, environmentally sustainable and relatively advantageous STI products; formulation and implementation of appropriate STI policies and more importantly; efficient and effective mechanism for diffusion of innovation and facilitation of the adoption of STI products.

Human capital development is recognized as a potent tool that is germane for generation and eventual utilization of STI products for improved agricultural production and productivity and transformation of the nation’s agricultural sector and agro-allied industries. Human capital is the most vibrant asset any nation can possess as acknowledged by Musiyiwa that “I was blown away by the qualifications…“whenever I hear people talk about the wealth of Nigeria in terms of oil, I shake my head to say: “You have no idea what you’re talking about!” He concluded that the true wealth of Nigeria is its extraordinary human capital, and passion for education. “Unleash that and no one can stop them!” 

Therefore, the generation and utilization of viable STI products by properly developed human capital will expectedly translate to tremendous transformation of agricultural production, enhanced productivity and a robust agro-allied industries such that there will be sufficient agricultural raw materials and products in Nigeria for both local demand and export that can surpass her counterparts in African and indeed the global agricultural market.

Viable agricultural extension system (AES)

Leaving extension of the equation will always undermine a productive agricultural venture even when other agri-support services suffice.. This implies that the progress made in the agricultural sector cannot be discussed without the mention of agricultural extension. This reveals the position and role of agricultural extension in the development of agriculture.

Agricultural extension service is the most veritable support system for farmers to increase the productivity of their farms. This support is particularly needful now that the Nigerian government seeks to leverage on the available potentials in the sector through the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) as a growth pull for the national economy. 

However, the national agricultural extension and advisory system has left much to be desired in the provision of effective support to farmers due to several challenges. Some of these include; inadequate and untimely funding, poor coordination, low private sector participation, weak Research-Extension-Farmer-Inputs Linkages system and sometimes, inappropriate extension approaches for innovation delivery.

The level of advancement in STI is contingent upon several factors. The factors include high level of human capital development, generation of sound, effective, efficient, cost effective, less complex, environmentally sustainable and relatively advantageous STI products; formulation and implementation of appropriate STI policies and more importantly; efficient and effective mechanism for diffusion of innovation and facilitation of the adoption of STI products.

Human capital development is recognized as a potent tool that is germane for generation and eventual utilization of STI products for improved agricultural production and productivity and transformation of the nation’s agricultural sector and agro-allied industries. Human capital is the most vibrant asset any nation can possess as acknowledged by Musiyiwa that “I was blown away by the qualifications…“whenever I hear people talk about the wealth of Nigeria in terms of oil, I shake my head to say: “You have no idea what you’re talking about!” He concluded that the true wealth of Nigeria is its extraordinary human capital, and passion for education. “Unleash that and no one can stop them!” 

Therefore, the generation and utilization of viable STI products by properly developed human capital will expectedly translate to tremendous transformation of agricultural production, enhanced productivity and a robust agro-allied industries such that there will be sufficient agricultural raw materials and products in Nigeria for both local demand and export that can surpass her counterparts in African and indeed the global agricultural market.

Viable agricultural extension system (AES)

Leaving extension of the equation will always undermine a productive agricultural venture even when other agri-support services suffice.. This implies that the progress made in the agricultural sector cannot be discussed without the mention of agricultural extension. This reveals the position and role of agricultural extension in the development of agriculture.

Agricultural extension service is the most veritable support system for farmers to increase the productivity of their farms. This support is particularly needful now that the Nigerian government seeks to leverage on the available potentials in the sector through the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) as a growth pull for the national economy. 

However, the national agricultural extension and advisory system has left much to be desired in the provision of effective support to farmers due to several challenges. Some of these include; inadequate and untimely funding, poor coordination, low private sector participation, weak Research-Extension-Farmer-Inputs Linkages system and sometimes, inappropriate extension approaches for innovation delivery.

Critical success factor for innovation delivery as a platform for Nigeria agriculture is where the role of agricultural extension becomes imperative to take advantage of the cardinal role of extension in bridging the gap that may exist between various categories of stakeholders in the agricultural innovation system. Extension and advisory services have the traditional role to facilitate the innovation platform and extension practitioners have the training in soft skills to foster partnerships and interaction among stakeholders. 

The country’s hub for extension and advisory services need to be proactive in responding to needs of the different stakeholders where capacity development is well entrenched from extension training at tertiary level. This is carried out under well-structured and packaged comprehensive modules and delivery on the agricultural innovation systems. Hence, there is strong justification for the up scaling of the agricultural innovation, which requires continuous capacity development of the National Agricultural Research System to work in the innovation systems mode.

Integration of E-extension platforms into the National Agricultural Extension System

The basic concepts of E-extension as conceptualised and currently being promoted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and amplified by NAERLS involve the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a platform for exchanging information and providing services to actors in the agricultural value chains. 

It is an electronic means of extending information to farmers through mobile phones and similar devices as well as the use of ICT to enhance traditional method (face to face extension) of extension services delivery especially in the face of low manpower engagement in extension agents as well as the need for the extension service to leverage on emerging technologies to enhance its outreach to its service recipients and other beneficiaries/actors in the agricultural value chains. 

Electronic extension has the following advantages: 

*Most of the farmers in Nigeria live in rural areas and are in most cases devoid of technology and vital agricultural support services needed to carry out farming activities.

*Reduced number of frontline extension agents 

*Wider penetration (more than the traditional face-to-face extension)

*Timeliness

*Evidence that most farmers have access to mobile phones

*Versatile application (weather, mapping, soils, etc.)

The key opportunities inherent in the electronic extension services are as follows: 

i. E-extension tools support delivery of information in diverse styles such as voice, image, motion, instants messages, and applications.

ii. Extension practitioners and farmers are among the owners and users of mobile phone.

iii. The National Agricultural Extension Service (NAES) system apply a diversity of methods, therefore E-extension presents a larger scope for the utilization of appropriate technologies for information sharing, capacity strengthening, program and performance management, and other EAs activities. 

iv. Private operators can come in and partner, even the telecom operators

v. It is cheaper than traditional “face to face” approach.

Imparting technical know-how on agricultural production

Agricultural development under any educational system as stated by Nyako (2019) is studied under science and technology. He reiterated that it is not by self-incantation; a clergyman or witch-doctor; it is not by public pronouncement by a public officer/politician or any other person(s) but to give farmers and herdsmen, young and old, adequate knowledge on production of their agricultural units. 

He (Nyako, 2019) maintained that as a fact, virtually all-agricultural units, be they livestock, plants, ponds of water etc. are today yielding less than 10% of what their counter-parts in other nations are producing. Some of the consequences of these low yields, as he noted are glaring. A teeming population of near 200 million people cannot be fed based on these primitive yields. It is further made clear that Nigeria would not be able to operate viable food industries with such insufficient raw materials locally produced, or imported because of insufficient funds to pay for them. 

A brace up is needed to substantially improve the yields of all agricultural units required for good health and productivity, earnings of foreign exchange from the sales of our agricultural produce, a sizable reduction of unnecessary imports into the country. Agricultural businesses must be viable and paying as the human resource is adequate; eco-balance is right, arable land is available to support extensive agricultural production.

Agricultural value chain finance (AVCF)

Value Chain (VC) involves the sequential linkages through which raw materials and resources are converted into products for the market. Agricultural Value Chain(AVC) as posited by Yahaya (2019) identifies the set of actors (private, public, including service providers) and a set of activities that bring a basic agricultural product from production in the field to final consumption, where at each stage value is added to the product. It may include production, processing, packaging, storage, transport and distribution. 

Each segment of a chain has one or more backward and forward linkages. Thus, with AVCs, there is movement away from a commercial, segmented form of agriculture in which many separate links operate in isolation, out of sync with each other, in which farmers produce in bulk, are exposed to price risks and capital needs and produce independently. The AVC is based on integrated systems, differentiated production, risk management, information needs and interdependent farmers. 

Agricultural Value Chain Finance (AVCF) according to Yahaya (2019) is the flow of funds to and among the various links within the AVC in terms of financial services and products and support services that flow to and/or through VC to address and alleviate constraints, and fulfill the needs of those involved in that chain, be it a need for finance, a need to secure sales, procure products, reduce risk and/or improve efficiency within the chain and thereby enhance the growth of the chain. AVCF is a comprehensive approach.

Key participants and other key components

According to Yahaya (2019), there are five main components to consider in VC analysis. These are the actors directly providing inputs, producing and distributing the product; the relationships and embedded services between these actors; the markets, the financial, general and specialized services coming from sources external to the production and distribution chain, and the enabling environment, including tax and trade policies and regulations. 

Apart from primary producers, several other players drive the AVCF and play important roles; these include dealers in agri-commodities and agri-inputs, food processors, retailers, support service institutions, banks and financial institutions. Each of these players may be operating in the AVCF at varying scales with investments of only a thousand dollars or even less or outlays of more than several million dollars. They operate along the VC with linkages into one another. 

Key participants in a value chain are: Producers; Agri-Input Dealers; Aggregators; Processors; Wholesalers; and Retailers. Connecting to value chains is a first step towards economic development, but the principal objective of partner countries remains to capture more of the value-added in each chain. Indeed, the link between participation in value chains and development still is questioned (Ismail, 2013) and while participation in value chains can bring maximum benefits.

Soil and water conservation 

The importance of water conservation for agriculture has been recognized for centuries (Unger, Kirkham and Nielsen, 2010). Bennett (1939), in his book Soil Conservation, cited numerous examples from ancient times of countries where canals were developed to convey water to agricultural lands for improved crop production. In addition, reservoirs were constructed for retaining water for later use on agricultural land, terraces were constructed to reduce runoff, plowed fallowing was promoted to conserve water, deep plowing was used in some cases, and contouring was used to retain water on land. Water for agriculture is derived from precipitation or from a stream, reservoir, or aquifer where irrigation is practiced. 

Water harvesting techniques

Water harvesting, according to the Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP, 2007), can best be described as all activities to collect available water resources, temporarily storing excess water for use when required, especially in periods of drought or when no perennial resources are available. The starting point is the collection of natural water resources from rainwater, fog, runoff water, groundwater or even wastewater, which otherwise would have escaped. World water resources are facing dramatic changes as a result of global climate change, high water demands, population growth, industrialisation and urbanisation. 

As climate change leads to more extreme variations, water-harvesting solutions must cope with both extreme rainfall and extreme droughts. Extreme rainfall requires good flood protection and diversion structures. Extreme drought requires large storage capacity and more emphasis on groundwater replenishment. In some cases, droughts last so long that alternative water sources are required, which means that water rationalisation schemes must be developed in advance. 

The 2006 ‘United Nations Water Development Report’ points out that a combination of lower precipitation and higher evaporation in many regions reduces water levels in rivers, lakes and groundwater. In addition, increased pollution damages ecosystems as well as the health, lives and livelihoods of those without access to adequate, safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The same report highlights how equal right of access to good quality water resources is a key challenge, crucial for domestic, agricultural, industrial and environmental use. 

By managing available water resources, livelihoods and human development can improve. To respond to water scarcity and unequal distribution, new techniques need to be explored and old techniques revisited. Small-scale water harvesting techniques provide a direct solution, especially in rural and drought-prone areas. Local storage of water is increasingly important for ensuring water availability and food security for rural and urban populations, especially in developing countries. This is particularly the case in areas with dry seasons where perennial rivers and fresh groundwater are not available or difficult to reach. 

In urban areas dam construction, long distance conveyance of water or desalinization may provide options for ensuring water availability. However, such solutions are generally too costly and complicated for rural water security. Rural populations require low-cost systems that can be constructed, operated and maintained with a high degree of community involvement and autonomy (NWP, 2007).

The potentials of water harvesting are numerous. It may reduce the need for deep well drilling or other costly investments in piped water supplies. Water harvesting can also have a positive impact on soil conservation, erosion prevention, groundwater replenishment and the restoration of ecosystems. 

Despite its tremendous potential, water harvesting has not received adequate recognition from policy makers and engineers. Water harvesting techniques are often considered unsophisticated or ‘traditional’, while water quality is not always guaranteed and unit costs can be high compared to supplies in humid countries. Moreover, these techniques require a high degree of flexibility and adaptation to the local situation. 

Ironically, many NGOs lack the capacity or interest to upscale and institutionalize successful local innovations, and this can contribute to lack of recognition by policy makers. Most good practices applied by small-scale farmers or development workers are developed by themselves through trial and error, by building on indigenous knowledge, or have resulted from the modified application of ideas introduced from outside. Often, these local innovations go unnoticed (NWP, 2007).

Smart water harvesting solutions has come to fill the gaps. A water harvesting technology is ‘smart’ when adapted to local conditions and adaptable to a changing environment. Smart Solutions (SS) meet the needs of the user, are possible to replicate at a larger scale and are simple to implement, use, maintain and repair. Moreover, the techniques are affordable. Some success factors can be identified for water harvesting techniques. However, successful replication and implementation depends on local conditions. 

Success factors according to NWP(2007) include: Start small, learn as you go and expand when needed; Build on existing practice, experience and infrastructure; Focus on local construction materials, local knowledge and techniques, local labour; Recognise local customs, social structures and habits; Consider existing institutional settings (develop institutional support); Ensure political commitment; Involve local stakeholders in design and planning (developing ownership and skills), including women; and Organise operation and maintenance: simple, local, affordable, low frequency, accessible services, e.g. performed by water committees with balanced representation.

Others are to ensure proper local training, capacity building; Secure property laws/ownership; own benefits, motivation, financing mechanisms; Evaluate capital resources, loans, micro-credits; Recover costs; make choices based on affordability and willingness to pay; Respond to actual needs (demand responsive); Build on co-operation successes in communities; and Inspire by showing results/successes of other projects.

In conclusion, enhancing the role of both public and private extension service entails a unified framework for performance. Many extension agencies and private service providers involved in extension service delivery in Nigeria have their own unique set of objectives, strategies and approaches which presents an unwieldy service environment that is uncoordinated and unregulated in terms of quality control and assurance, and sometimes conflicting information dissemination. This individualistic approach to extension service delivery affects agricultural productivity, which in turn, leads to decline in the gross domestic product of the nation. 

Recommendations

i. Fast-tracking the national policy on agricultural extension in Nigeria. The agricultural extension policy, which has been drafted to harmonize the critical elements that are required to drive a sustainable and market-oriented agricultural development, should as a matter of urgency is implemented. This will unify the roles and functions of both private and public extension service delivery.

ii. The strengthening of agricultural value chain is very critical to the achievement of sustainable agricultural development globally and locally.  Therefore, value chain actors deserve special attention in the series of activities in value creation process of a product particularly, producers, processors, marketers, exporters. 

iii. Agricultural extension, which combines series of embedded communicative interventions that helps to resolve challenges facing agriculture, should accommodate the issue of climate change (including adaptation and mitigation). In response to the changing nature of agriculture and farmers’ needs as occasioned by climate change, the focus of extension should shift from transferring skills, technologies and knowledge related to the production of crops, livestock and forestry products from research outcomes to farmers, to developing technologies with farmers and facilitating innovation processes for climate-smart agriculture. 

iv. There is need to intensify agricultural extension efforts in assisting smallholder farmers with information on how to be climate-smart which include developing closer linkages between agricultural research and extension providers; taking into account existing local knowledge and having a clear understanding of farmers’ needs and problems as well as obtaining feedback on how technological interventions are performing. 

v. National sensitization programme is needed since the foremost factor of agricultural production is land it most be protected for the good of all. Hence, holistic soil management culture is needed to avert imminent devastation its destruction will cause the entire nation in particular and human race in general.

vi. It is further made clear that  there is urgent need Nigeria would not be able to operate viable food industries with such insufficient raw materials locally produced, or imported because of insufficient funds to pay for them. (Concluded.) 

Mohammed Kuta Yahaya is a Professor of Development Communication, Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Ibadan. 

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