The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has charged parastatals and institutes under the ministry to develop new products through Research and Development (R&D).
At a meeting on Thursday, in Abuja, held with chairmen of boards and chief executives of parastatals, under the ministry, the Minister asked them to use viable technologies to develop products for commercialisation, instead of leaving them on the shelves.
Dr. Adesina directed them to have a compelling vision on how to achieve the mandates of their institutions in line with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the ministry.
The Minister emphasised the need for research institutes and all universities of agriculture to collaborate in R&D, and production of annual R&D reports, and observing annual R&D week for the purpose of discussion and dissemination of reports on new developments and products. He said: “If you can take our technologies to scale, from the scaling, you can find the amount needed and even convince donors to help.”
To enable his ministry keep track of the activities of the parastatals and make government very successful, Dr. Adesina directed all the parastatals institutes and colleges of agriculture to submit quarterly reports to his office. The Minister, however, pledged his readiness to devise a means of providing for more funding, to enable the parastatals and institutes deliver on their mandates.
The Chairman, Governing Board of National Root Crops research Institute, Umudike, Chief Oluwole Aina, on behalf of the Agric research council of Nigeria (ARCN), called on government to consider timely funding for agriculture because it is a seasonal activity. He said funding should be made available when it would be useful to the farmer.