By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
The Minister for State Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has said that the only way to achieve self sufficiency is to invest on research and technological agricultural development.
He stated this during his facility tour at Agric and vet complex of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, stressing that funding research will improve this year.
Dr. Lokpobiri expressed disappointment over the previous government’s inability to fund agriculture properly as an alternative means of revenue generation in the country.
The minister assured the Agricultural Institutions of the sustainable release of funding at the right time, assuring that the ministry will not allow what happened in 2017 that only 50% of the budget allocation was released to the institutions.
According to him, for Nigeria to improve in agriculture and to meet the national growth, government must determine to increase funding of research institutes.
He also stated that donor funding programmes will be given to agricultural research institutes instead of given to the ministry.
” The agric/vet complex have done so much and it is time to commercialize their research work as it was globally done while the way forward is to publicized all the productions and research to the public so that people can patronize them like the Shika brown of NAPRI”.
Ahmadu Bello University has occupied a special position not only in Nigeria but the whole Africa ad 70% of the high quality seed used in the continent is from Nigeria.
The minister also said , sufficient extension workers will help agriculture develop more than what it is presently in Nigeria.
In his address, the chairman agric/vet complex ABU Zaria Prof Ibrahim U Abubakar told the minister that, the researchers do research and teaching as well there is no competition between them BT they work as a team.
Prof. Abubakar said all problems of agric/vet is been address at once and they count on ministry to assist the institutes in releasing their funding at the right time.