By Felix Khanoba
The Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) has expressed its readiness to extend its various research programmes on agricultural extension to more universities in the country.
The Board chairman of SAFE, Prof. Ruth Oniang’o, stated this in Abuja during a workshop for Vice Chancellors of specialised universities of agriculture and deans of faculties of agriculture which was organised by the body.
She commended Nigeria for establishing massive universities across the country, adding that the SAFE programme would go a long way in boosting agricultural productivity as well as empower extension workers and rural farmers.
The former Kenya’s parliamentarian expressed delight over the decision of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure that the SAFE initiative is adopted by several universities in the country.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, commended the SAFE for promoting agricultural development in the Africa continent.
Represented by the Commission’s Director of Research, Innovation and Technology, Dr. Rahmon Yusuf, the NUC boss said the importance of agricultural extension programmes in boosting crops and livestock production cannot be over-emphasised.
He said six Nigerian universities have already keyed into the programme, adding that the initiative would go a long way in teaching new techniques to farmers.
“SAFE has developed curriculum on education extension and has introduced the programme to some tertiary institutions in Africa after due process. So far only six universities in Nigeria; Ahmadu Bello University, Zairia, Bayero University, Kano, University of Ilorin, UthmanDan Fodio University, Sokoto, Federal University, Dutse, and Adamawa State University are running the SAFE- funded agricultural extension programmes.
“It is worthy of measure that Nigeria presently has three specialised universities of agriculture and 69 universities offering agriculture but technically none of the specialised universities have keyed into the initiative,” Rasheed said.