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Amended ARCN Act allows Research Institutes to Market Innovations – Prof. Sharubutu

The Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Professor Garba Sharubutu has said that the amended ARCN Act empowers various Agricultural Research Institutes to market its technological innovation.

According to him, the amended act allows Research Institutes to establish spinoff companies that will take over the marketing and sales of technologies.

“Most of our Research Institutes were also producers of technology, and there was a need for us to market this technology.

“But as it was, there is no way we can market these technologies, because we will be doing things illegally, because we did not have the right to go into marketing. So, this amended Act allows us to establish spinoff companies for us to be able to operate.” He said

Sharubutu noted that before now, there were controversies regarding why some Colleges of Agriculture were establishing consultancy outfits which has been a serious subject for debate.

“So, in the wisdom of this Act, there was now a need for us to actually establish spinoff companies with a view to making sure that they now market their products.

“Not as part of the core mandate of the Institute, but as a branch, so that the revenue generation capacity will now be increased.

“Because subsequently what we are targeting is to beat our chest to say, some of the products, or technologies we have developed, have been marketed”, he stated.

The Executive Secretary stressed that when research institutes develop varieties or products, if there are no off-takers to buy the products, the spinoff company will take over the marketing and sales of the product.

“If Cocoa Research Institute is able to come up with viable seedlings that are disease resistant and climate-smart, you’ll find out that because of the inability of off-takers to come and take them, these products will now be handed over to these spinoff companies.

“If the National Veterinary Research Institute produces a vaccine. The selling of the vaccine will now be taken over by the spinoff company so that they will do the marketing so that the Research Institute will now be allowed to concentrate more on the issue of their own research, rather than doing one thing or the other,” Professor Sharubutu noted.

He pointed out that the ARCN amendment Bill went together with a bill on the agricultural Development Fund, both sponsored by Senator Abdullahi Adamu.

Sharubutu also explained that the Agricultural Development Fund will have the same characteristics as the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), where research institutes will draw money for research works.

“This Agricultural Development Fund is supposed to harmonize all the various sources of revenue that are agriculture-related.

“Most importantly, those that are into processing will also draw from and every industrialist will now have the chance of opting to either come to the Agriculture Development Fund or go to the Industrial Fund.” He added.

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Sourced from Agro Nigeria

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