The Federal Government has said it will partner with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to fund research into finding long-lasting solutions to the problems bedeviling the country’s agricultural sector.
The Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture, Colleges and Institutions, Mr. Munir Dan’agundi, disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the IITA headquarters.
According to the chairman, the country’s agricultural sector is plagued by several challenges, all of which can be tackled by prioritizing investments into research and development.
“IITA’s research will create more impact by collaborating with national agricultural research systems to devise more solutions to agricultural problems in Nigeria.
“We need collaboration and cooperation for the new agenda for good agricultural policies that emphasize coordination and support to increase productivity, research, and extension, value addition, and reduce post-harvest loss”, he said.
The Nigerian agricultural ecosystem is plagued by issues ranging from post-harvest losses, farmer-herder clashes, general insecurity as well as low women and youth participation in the sector.
On women and youth participation, the Director-General of IITA, Mr. Nteranya Sanginga, emphasized the need to champion youth participation in the sector.
He said there was the need to create opportunities that would attract youth into the sector and champion import substitution.
“The mindset of the youth has to be changed regarding agriculture, as the sector can create more employment opportunities.
“Hence, IITA needs your support to continue what we are doing”, he asserted.
Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Mr. Garba Sharubutu, further highlighted the three major areas of collaboration with IITA.
According to him, the collaboration would involve; Coordination of funds to develop research institutes, Capacity building to accomplish the mandate of the institutes, and Championing Synergy between both parties.
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