By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Executive Director of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Professor James Adediran has advocated increase in the funding of Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) in Nigeria to boost food production in the country.
Professor Adediran made the call while speaking at the opening of 31st South West Zonal Workshop of Research Extension Farmers Input Linkage System (REFILS), themed “Quality Control and Value Addition: Panacea to Agricultural Marketing Challenges in Nigeria” held at the institute’s training hall in Ibadan
The IAR&T Executive Director pointed out that the poor financing of ADPs by many states across the federation has resulted into low performances of ADPs in the recent years , adding that ‘ a lot is still to be done by state governments toward moving agriculture forward in their respective States. “
“I am concerned on the level of performance and achievement of most ADPs which are low because of insufficient funding by their state governments. Your Excellencies, while in some zones of the country, the activities which form the framework of research extension farmers input linkage system have seriously dropped in content and context. Your Excellencies, I sincerely appreciate your enviable agricultural policy and its implementation for agricultural growth in your respective state. Definitely, a lot is still to be done towards moving agriculture forward in the states and South West in general since the demand for food is much higher than supply.” he said.
Professor Adediran added “Our population is skyrocketing daily. But, food production is still at low ebb because we rely mostly on the peasant farmers to feed the nation”
“The greater percentage of those engaged in farming is the small scale farmers. There is therefore urgent need to embark on the new strategies that will increase output and give economic returns on agricultural activities so as to achieve sustainable food and fibre production.”
Speaking with newsmen during the programme, the Zonal Coordinator of South West REFILS Dr. Olukemi Lawal disclosed that the annual workshop was organised to find solutions to the problems being faced by farmers across the South West zone, saying, “the purpose of this workshop is to bring stakeholders together,”.
” We are bringing together scientists, extension workers and farmers to deliberate in ensuring food security in Nigeria. We come together to deliberate and review the report of Agricultural programmes, we also deliberate on them. We should find solutions to major problems confronting the farmers”.