The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) has distributed multimedia materials to agricultural research institutes in the country in order to support farmer education on best agricultural practices.
Executive Secretary of ARCN, Prof Garba Sharubutu, hosted the distribution ceremony held at the Council’s headquarters.
The exercise, which was graced by heads of research institutes and universities of agriculture, was chaired by Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Agricultural Institutions and Colleges, Munnir Baba Dan Agundi.
Speaking during the ceremony, Sharubutu explained that the initiative was birthed by the need to empower extension workers in the country to deliver on farmer education.
The don said, “It is the only way to encourage extension workers because various stakeholders including the minister have complained about lack of extension workers and it is our responsibility as a Council that advises the government on research in agriculture to come up with the best way of enhancing adequate dissemination even with the small number of extension workers that we have.”
“Today we have procured a lot of extension teaching materials and each benefitting institute is going to have a television, a projector, a DVD machine and a generator, to enable them to go to the villages and demonstrate to the farmers, new crop varieties, required soil types, planting time and type of fertiliser to be applied as well as harvesting time up to storage and movement to markets.
In his own remark, Agundi applauded the Council for the effort to empower farmers with such technical support and expressed confidence in the capacity of the newly-appointed heads of the council to drive agricultural research in the country to the next level.
He said, “What we are witnessing today at ARCN is a clear testimony of the harmony that was eroded in the past but is now returning in the form of a well-organised institution. We are not yet there, but we are surely on the right course.”
In the area of allocating funds from the national vote for research, Agundi pledged the support of the National Assembly for the Council, adding that the lawmakers would double their efforts in addressing the unbalanced allocation of funds.
“Without research and development, no country will develop. We are committed to playing our part, very much conscious of our responsibilities to uplift research to make the maximum impact on this country.
“Research is the only way for us to get out of the woods and quagmire of population explosion and insecurity which the country is currently grappling with,” he explained.
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