By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Agricultural research institutes in Nigeria have received federal government’s directives to step up research works on improving agricultural yields, genetic technology and development.
The Executive Director, National Cereals Research Institute, (NCRI) Baddegi in Bida, Niger State, Dr. Umar Aliyu said at the start of the annual research, review and planning workshop on agricultural research organized organized by the institute.
Dr. Aliyu said if the country’s agricultural research centres were given the right push, the country would experience steady economic growth.
The Executive Director said the country’s agricultural sector could attract huge investment including direct foreign investments from international entrepreneurs if agric research institutes in the country were well funded to carry out their mandates.
He said it was unwise for Nigeria to continue to rely on oil and gas as its economic mainstay and foreign exchange earner.
The Executive Director disclosed that the country’s agricultural research institutes have received federal government’s directives to stream up more research work developing new techniques and technology that could spur greater agricultural yields, growth and gains for both farmers and end users.
He announced that about sixty seven new crop seeds and seedlings varieties had been produced by the institute and released to farmers to encourage optimal yields.
The theme of the workshop was “sustainable diversification of Nigerian economy through agricultural research” was aimed at providing the leeway for the country’s agricultural practioners.
Guest speaker at the occasion, Dr. Patricia Pesu said in her position paper that advocated for greater technological inputs in livestock and animal husbandry, genetic technology for crop seeds and seedlings to enhance yields.