The newly-appointed Executive Secretary of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Professor Garba Sharabutu has said he would reposition the research institutes in Nigeria to play a pivotal role in agriculture development in the country.
Professor Sharubutu was appointed the Acting Executive Secretary of ARCN in 2019, and formally appointed the substantive Executive Secretary of the Research Council in May 2020.
In his mission and vision statement, Professor Sharubutu said: “The ARCN will be a centre of excellence for coordinating research, training, documentation, and dissemination of quality agricultural innovations for enhanced agricultural productivity, food security, job creation and poverty eradication in Nigeria”.
“He also said his mission was to provide scholarly and administrative leadership to the Council with the view to promote agricultural research, training, extension, and production of quality farm inputs and to introduce reforms within the limits of the ‘mandate of the Council and in line with the priority and objectives of the Federal Government”.
“This will give priority to research, development of new remedies, and generation of data. It is our intention to restructure the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) along the broad areas of agricultural practice, each with the capacity to conduct research and develop inputs based on specialization.
He said the Council would commence coordination of agricultural activities across the length and breadth of the country, and linkage with the National Pension Commission towards organising farming workshops for retired public servants.
On dissemination of new farming technologies, the ARCN boss said research without a proper channel of dissemination means nothing.
“The extension units of the Council will be strengthened just as all NARIs will be encouraged to strengthen their extension units.
“The Council shall coordinate the dissemination of innovations through the electronic media. To this end, corporate sponsorship of media activities will be promoted in line with what obtained with programs beneficial to the people.
“Communication and Agriculture related companies shall be solicited to fund extension programmes as is obtainable globally. Eventually, efforts shall be made to establish “Radio agric” to educate farmers on agriculture. This shall be a joint venture with Farmer Associations and agricultural and related companies”, he noted.
He said the Council would also embark on the establishment of National Museums of Agriculture, Herbariums, and Biological.
“With the current global economic meltdown, Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) will enhance growth and reduce the over-dependency of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) on budgetary allocation,” he concluded.