Farmers, researchers, financial institutions, among others have continued to express endless surprise and delight following the outcome of the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN)’s Farmers’ Field Day.
The event, which held on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, witnessed several stakeholders in the agricultural sector who could not contain their joy after watching the various products developed from cocoa, cashew, and other crops.
In declaring the event open, the Oyo state’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Hon. Adeniyi Adebisi, maintained that the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), under the leadership of Dr Patrick Adebola, has been her only source of planting materials and transplanting development of cocoa used in the state.
According to the commissioner, who spoke through Mr Babatunde Adewole, the General Manager, Oyo State Tree Crop Development Unit, “CRIN has ever been the only source of planting material and transplanting development of cocoa used by the state to raise the seedlings distributed to farmers at highly subsidized rate”.
The cabinet member of the state also identified other areas of partnership between the state and the institute, including giving out relief packages to the farmers across the state through the state government, during the pandemic, as well as collaboration on innovations involving the mandate crops of the institute, which has made the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development express desire in adopting the state as one of its focal areas for tree crop.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Director, CRIN, Dr Patrick Olusanmi Adebola, explained that such occasion enables the institute to interact with farmers with the aim of helping them solve farm problems, adding that about 21 products have been developed from the institute’s research, using its mandate crops of cocoa, cashew, kola, tea and coffee.
In an exclusive interview with CEOAFRICA, he added that the event is held annually to understand farmers challenge in order to shape its research to reflect those challenges.
“It is organized annually in the institute. The farmers’ field day is to give an opportunity for our major stakeholders, not only farmers, to come to our institute for us to be able to interact so that we are able to know where the problem lies and that will help us shape our research programmes.
“Farmers are our ultimate target, in terms of making sure that their farms have maximum yield. When we have field day, like we do today, we showcase to them the latest technologies of the institute,” he said.
Mrs Tayo Onikola, who is a project officer at the Bank of Industry, having seen different products made by the farmers, through the research of the institute, promised to ensure that loan facilities are made available for those who may need them for expansion of the agribusiness.
In an interview with CEOAFRICA, she added that the bank, as well as Bank of Industry, are available for the farmers to gain easier access to raw materials, facilities, tools and many others.
In her own response, the Head, Extension Programme of the National Horticultural Research Institute, Dr Funmilayo Olajide Taiwo, showered Dr Adebola with praises, while calling for partnership of the government to promote the agricultural innovations of the research institutes across the South West.
Dr Justina Lawal, the Head, Department of Economics and Extension of the CRIN, while noting that field day enables farmers to know what they can gain from the institute, added that such event is used for diagnostic research by the institute.
According to a farmer and retired member of staff of the institute, Chief Olusegun Adebayo, Dr Patrick is an able man who is determined and committed to restoring the lost glory of the institute.
Dr Iyabo Adeoye of the National Horticultural Research Institute noted that such programme helps to stimulate the interest of investors, which ultimately promotes commercialization and exportation of farm products.
Some of the products displayed include cocoa bread, cocoa wine, cashew wine, Choco garri, cocoa butter cream, cocoa lotion, cocoa butter balm, cocoa soap, cocoa black soap, tomato wine, and many others; the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) as well as the National Horticultural Research Institute displayed their products too.
Other personalities at the event include the Executive Director, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Prof. Adesola Adepoju who was represented by Dr Adesope, Executive Director, National Horticultural Research Institute, Dr Muhammad Lawal Atanda represented by Dr Adeoye Iyabo, who is the Assistant Director, Farming System Research.
Others include National President, National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Hon. Ojo Ajanaku, represented by the National Treasurer, Alhaja Aishat Bukola Hadija, President, National Cashew Association of Nigeria, Osun state Mr Aruniran Fatai, Farmers Association of Nigeria, Oluyole chapter, led by Chief Segun Adebayor, Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, Oyo State Chairman, Chief Akintola Joseph, representative of Justice Development and Peace Commission, Oyo state, Mrs Okewole.
The following persons from CRIN were there too Directors of Cocoa, Dr Adedeji, Cashew, Dr Ibiremo, Coffee, Dr Ipinmoroti, Outstations, Dr Moses Ogunlade, Plantation and Substation, Heads of Economics and Extension, Dr Lawal and Plant Improvement, Dr Anna Muyiwa.