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Researchers, institutes tasked on pursuing Federal Government agenda on food availability, security in Nigeria
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Thu, 25 Apr 2024   ||   Nigeria,

Research institutes and researchers have been tasked to pursue the Federal Government agenda on ensuring enough food and food security in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Garba Hamidu Sharubutu, made this call on Tuesday at the opening session of the 2024 Annual Inhouse Research Review of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) located in Ibadan, Oyo State.

According to him, “Research institute should remain committed and key into the agenda of the government. Whenever the government makes pronouncement, they should be able to come down, have a meeting, address the aim of the government and key into it. It is only by doing that that we can move forward.”

Professor of Veterinary Medicine said that stakeholders must ensure their research align with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration.

On funding, Sharubutu disclosed that the government has developed an agency called the National Agricultural Development Fund (NADFUND) aimed at bringing in sources of revenue from all agricultural ventures to build it up and sponsor research institutes.

He explained that “the aim of this government is to build a template of funding so that we don’t rely on the issue of budget. The aim of the fund is to look at developing proposals that is fit into the funding mechanism of NADFUND similar to what is happening in educational sector where we have TETFUND.”

Reacting to the disease attack affecting cocoa production in Ivory Coast and the fear of spreading to Nigeria, the ARCN Secretary responded that the concerned institutes have been instructed to introduce both active and passive surveillance methods to see that this disease does not cross the border into our community, assuring farmers that whatever disease is being envisaged will be curtailed.

Speaking to CEOAFRICA on the CRIN event, he described the event as planning session for the next season, furthering that research institutes have been “instructed that whatever research they want to conduct must first be subjected to proper screening that we will be able to align it to mandate of the federal government.”

“Researches are researches, but we have to be selective because of the situation we have found ourselves in this country. Today we are talking about food security, and we have to screen the researches to make sure that it meets the agenda of President bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

Explaining that existing research institutes in Nigeria are complementary in sharing equipment and tools to achieve the state of emergency that was declared, Sharubutu also said “one of the imports of the research review is bringing in the private sector. The honourable minister is very concerned about the private sector.”





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