By Mohammed Sani Mu’azu
The Nigerian Institute of Soil Science (NISS) has released a new version of its mobile application software, NISSAGRO to reduce the dearth of agric extension agents in Nigeria.
Worried by the increasing agric extension agent/farmer ratio in the country coupled with Federal Government’s push for food sufficiency, NISS invented the NISSAGRO, a virtual interaction technology to provide Nigerian farmers with a leeway to access extension services.
The Northeast Zonal Coordinator of NISS, Professor Saminu Ibrahim said this during training organised for farmers from the region on how to operate the new version of NISSAGRO application software in Bauchi.
He said over 30 extension agents and farmers from the six states of the northeast were trained on the use of the new version of the NISSAGRO application.
Professor Saminu, who is also a former Vice-Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi said it became imperative for the institute to come up with new methods and techniques that provide farmers access to farming-related information that they require for better farm outputs.
He said with NISSAGRO technology, farmers can access all the needed extension services from the comfort of their rooms, thereby reducing tension for the dearth of extension agents.
Speaking, Programme Manager Bauchi State Agricultural Development Program, Alhaji Abubakar Ja’afaru Ilelah said the capacity buildings organised by the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science have helped in filling the gap in the extension agents-farmer ratio in the northeast.
Alhaji Ilelah added that said the new NISS AGRO application will assist agricultural development programs across the six states to disseminate Agricultural information to the farmers as well as get feedback back from the farmers to institutes.
The program manager used the medium to appreciate the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science for the support it is rendering to farmers in the northeast particularly and the country in general, adding that the gesture is yielding positive results.
Some of the participants who spoke to LEADERSHIP expressed delight in the workshop and promise to train other extension workers and farmers in their respective states for the overall development of the agriculture sector of the country.