The Federal Government on Monday in Ilorin restated its commitment to agriculture development through its support to the country’s research and training institutions.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mahmood Abubakar stated this after his inspection visit to the Nigeria Stored Product Research Institute (NSPRI), Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMYl) and National Centre for Agriculture Mechanisation (NCAM) in llorin, thr Kwara capital
Abubakar said it was not by accident that these three institutions were situated in Ilorin, that they are related and their synergy will produce and develop agriculture more than what one single institute will produce.
The Minister commended the Executive Directors of the three institutions for their efforts at upholding the mandate of their establishments.
”All the three institutions are doing well, and with what I have seen here, I am impressed, we do not need to look outside for machines needed in agriculture starting from the ones needed for cultivation, to processing and storage,” he said.
Abubakar added that the institution was in tandem with what the president Muhammad Bihari wants, that is, an Executive Order No 3 which is to materialize local content.
He said the present administration was focused on research and development which these three institutions stand for, and there is no way there will be true agricultural development without research and innovation.
Abubakar added that the cliche of President Muhammadu Buhari that we must grow what we eat and as well export is justified because we no longer import rice.
”We are not only rice sufficient, we are no 1 producer of rice in Africa and No 4 in the world as well as No 1 producer of cassava, yam and other farm products.
”So, this administration has in the last eight years moved Nigeria upward in terms of agriculture and export as well,” he said.
ARMTI Executive Director, Dr Olufemi Oladunni in his remarks said the visit was like a corrective measures for the institute to improve on already established policies.
He said the institute now has three regional training centres out of the six intended ones, all thanks to the minister.
In his remarks, NCAM Executive Director, Dr Kamal Abdulgafar-Rasheed said the visit was a great boost for the Centre to continue in its resolve to recognize home grown mechanisation technology and to a great extent, reduce importation.
On his part, NSPRI Executive Director, Prof. Lateef Sanni, said the visit allowed the minister to see the value and the strength in value addition which was just added to the institute’s mandate apart from production alone.
He said they were able to displayed the technologies that are small holder friendly which will eventually be adopted and maintained by them.
In his remarks, Kwara Commissioner for Agriculture, Abdullatif Gidado Alakawa also pledged the state government’s support for the three institutions.