ARCN, FMARD commend Nigeria’s agricultural innovations
The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) have commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural innovations to ensure increased productivity and food security in the country.
ARCN’s Head, Protocol and Publicity, Mr Kayode Aiyedogbon, made the remark in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
The Minister of FMARD, Dr Mahmood Abubakar said President Buhari has been interested in taking agricultural research to the next level through innovation and technology, as has held agriculture as one of the Cardinal pillars of his administration.
“The present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari relies on agriculture for food production and economic development in order to bring the country back on the path of growth.
” Therefore research and training occupies a special place as a strategy for Mr President’s goal and a priority in the ministry’s drive to attaining greater productivity, he said.
He said that the agricultural research sector was endowed with so many Professors, Doctors, Research fellows and so on.
The Minister said that no country can survive without a good agricultural base, adding that the Ministry would very soon release the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP) 2022 – 2027 which will be the main framework on how to drive agriculture for the next six years.
He noted that the meeting was expected to assist in reviewing how the ministry has feared in the past year and set tone for the year 2022.
According to the Minister, ” I have contacted Mr President and he has assured to improve the capacity of staff of the ARCN, The National Agricultural Research Institute(NARI) and FCAs.
He has also directed that the NARIs and FCAs should furnish the Ministry through the ARCN with critical areas of human resources needs, especially research fellows, lecturers, analysts, technologists, and technicians.
According to the Minister, ARCN Amended Act 2021 has made provision for the establishment of spin-off companies within the NARIs and FCAs, which is a deliberate strategy by Mr President to utilize the enormous potentials to generate revenues and to augment the current budgetary allocations.
He added that the products of various research was expected to be taken off the shelves for the immediate utilisation of farmers, industries and consumers.
” You must also ensure a strong drive towards attracting research grants to supplement the available funds which will therefore ensure lesser dependence on government funding in the nearest future.
Abubakar said that NAERLS, NARIs and FCAs has the responsibility to establish extension service departments and units, noting that extension services units in the country was lagging behind the global standards.
He therefore directed that with the expected increase of manpower, all the stakeholders are to rejuvenate the extension services unit and ensure effective delivery of research results to end users.
He said there was need for the ARCN to come up with a programme for all the Research Institutes and Colleges to exhibit their sellable discoveries that can change the fortunes of agriculture in the country before the end of the second quarter of the year 2022.
In his response, the Executive Secretary of ARCN, Prof. Garba Hamidu acknowledged the Minister’s remarks and directives, but raised some concerns as regards the Newly Amended ARCN Act which according to him cannot be fully implemented without the Minister’s approval.
“The absorption of the just added five FCAs, the proscription of the governing board, the issue of constant visitors to the agricultural research institutes and colleges as well as the need for a retreat for the Council, Institutes and Colleges to be chaired by the Minister”, must be taken seriously.