Minster of agriculture and rural development, Dr Mahmood Mohammed Abubakar has assured the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to agricultural development through research, innovation and technology.

He said that the president relied on agriculture for food production and economic development in order to bring the country back on the path of growth.

The minister stated this in Abuja when the executive secretary of ARCN, Prof Garba Sharubutu paid him a working visit.

Dr Abubakar maintained that the president has assured him of readiness to significantly improve the capacity of staff of the ARCN, NARIs and FCAs and to this end he has directed that the NARIs and FCAs to furnish the ministry with critical areas of human resources needs especially research fellows, lecturers, analysts, technologists and technicians.

A statement by the council’s head, protocol and publicity, Kayode Aiyedogbon said “Accordingly, the products of your research is 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 suppliment the available funds which will therefore ensure lesser dependence on government funding in the nearest future.

Apart from NAERLS, each NARIs and FCAs has a responsibility to establish extension service departments and units, and in this regard, the Dr Abubakar wonders why our extension services units should be lagging behind the global standards and he has 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”.

In his remarks, executive secretary of ARCN, Prof. Garba Sharubutu acknowledged the minister’s remarks and directives, but raised some concerns as regards the new amended ARCN Act which according to him cannot be fully implemented without minister’s approval.

by Adegwu John (Leadership Newspaper)