By Muktar Tahir
The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, has called on the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, IAR&T, to focus on problem-solving and nation-fixing multidisciplinary researches that respond to Nigeria’s demands and aspirations.
Mr Bagoro made the call Monday in Ibadan while delivering a paper titled: ‘Research Development in Agriculture Sector: “The role of Research Institutes in innovative Value Chain transformation’ during the maiden annual lecture of the institute.
He noted that IAR&T can attain global competitiveness provided it focuses on the institutionalisation of research and development in the agricultural sector of the economy by leading the implementations of recommendations of global, continental, regional and national development requirements.
He stated that: “the institute should embark on the development of prototypes for the commoditisation of the priority agricultural value chains in Nigeria and imbibe the national gold standards in the value addition processes and product development to be globally competitive.
“IAR&T should change the narratives of farmers-herders crisis by embarking on strategic studies that will lead to evidence-based, science-led sustainable solutions to save the country from inestimable losses of lives and properties.
“The institute should lead research and development efforts that will reduce drudgery in our national agricultural systems using Information and Communication Technology and other emerging technologies,” he said.
Mr Bogoro, also stated that the core mandates of research and training of IAR&T should be leveraged to lead Nigeria’s agricultural sector towards becoming the pivotal sector of the new knowledge economy.
“It is worthy of note that the traditional outputs of agricultural activities include food for humans, feed for animals, raw materials for industries, job/income for the citizens and revenue for the government.
“This rejuvenation of these outputs using research and development tools will reposition IAR&T as a national and global reference institute.”
In his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Eyitayo Ogunbodede, informed that IAR&T is multi-commodity areas (soil, crops, livestock, value addition and extension farming systems) towards the ultimate goal of supporting the nation to achieve self-sufficiency in food and industrial raw material production within a very short time.