In what can be termed as a wonderful but kind gesture, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Muhammad Mahmoud Abubakar, today paid a familiarisation visit to the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN).
In his opening remarks, the Hon. Minister expressed delight in seeing a large turn out of staff welcome him and observed their compliance to the COVID 19 protocols by wearing nose masks.
The Hon. Minister assured that the Federal government will not just sit and watch food prices skyrockets as measures are in place to ensure that the prices are stabilised before the end of the year.
Dr Abubakar also hinted that the Ministry is working with some international organisations to improve the sector inorder to enhance food production that will be sufficient for the Nigerian growing population.
In his words, “we are doing everything possible to bring up some stimulants that can bring down the food prices”.
The Minister however hinted that the Growth Enhancement Scheme GES, will be brought back soon having identified how to make it work better.
In his welcome remarks, the Executive Secretary of ARCN, Prof. Garba Hamidu Sharubutu mni, welcomed the august visitors and quickly pledged that the Council is ready to support the Ministry inorder to ensure the provision of necessary input for food security, poverty eradication and diversification of the economy.
Prof. Sharubutu acknowledged the fact that various NARIs have made giant strides in developing technologies that will tackle emerging diseases and pests which according to him have changed the direction of our research from basic to demand driven agricultural research and technologies as most of our researches are now responding to the yearnings. The ES recalled when we had cases of army worms on maize farms, pest attack on beans as well as tuta absoluta on tomatoes. In his words, Prof. Sharubutu said, ” our research institutes have been able to find solutions to these pests and insects, that is the demand driven agricultural research initiatives”.
In conclusion, the ES said that researchers are making efforts to incorporate nutrients into crops inorder to improve the nutritional components of crops.
Thereafter, the Hon. Minister was led on a guided inspection of the ongoing finishing touches at the new building due for commissioning next week’s Monday.
Kayode I. Aiyedogbon
Head, Protocol and Publicity