A professor of Agricultural Extension, Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia State, Dr. Oji Onu Ekumankama has emphasised the training of frontline Agricultural Extension Workers in Abia and Akwa Ibom States, in the area of fish farming.
The don, who said this while delivering the 40th Inaugural Lecture of the university entitled: “Beneficial Technologies On The Farm: An Indispensable Part Of The Extension Team,” said though the extension workers have had trainings in livestock, they still need more knowledge to boost the fishery sub-sector.
He said the training should focus on extension message delivery, solid management techniques, agro forestry and economic practices.
Ekumankama stressed that the need for more training came to the fore after himself and two others-A. C Anyanwu and V. A Chukwu at different times in 2018 comparatively, analysed the training needs of field extension workers in the two states.
According to him, extension agents and Block Extension Agents (BEA) in Akwa Ibom State had more training needs in livestock management than their Abia counterparts, saying, “all of them in the two states needed training in fishery practices.”
Ekumankama recommended designing of policies that would improve the level of formal education of extension workers through well-articulated in-service trading courses.
Another recommendation made was regular payment of salaries and allowances, including provision of operational logistics, especially means of transportation, stressing that “field extension workers should be made to have good prospects for promotion by government through provision of adequate promotion avenues or opportunities.”