FG commissions first agricultural radio, television 

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar has commissioned the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) radio and television studio at the Council’s headquarters in Abuja.
Aside from commissioning the first-ever agricultural radio and television in Nigeria, the Minister also commissioned a museum and electronic library for the Council, and also distributed extension teaching materials to 11 agricultural Research Institutes and Colleges.
During the commissioning on Monday, the Minister said the use of the facility is expected to strengthen research collaborations as well as provide a platform for timely dissemination of agricultural information and showcasing of agricultural interventions in the country.
“This is official commissioning of this world-class facility comprising of a digital museum and documentation centre for referencing agricultural research information and knowledge, an electronic library, which is to aid research by providing greater access to recent advances in agricultural sciences; and television and radio stations, which will link millions of Nigerians to firsthand agricultural information.
“The use of these facilities is expected to strengthen research collaborations as well as provide a platform for timely dissemination of agricultural information and showcasing of agricultural interventions in the country”, the Minister said.
He said all Research Institutes and Adopted Villages in the country have been directed to activate all Adopted Villages and Outreach Centres in order to drive the Ministry towards strengthening the extension system in the country.
“All our Research Institutes and Colleges have been demanded to activate all the Adopted Villages and Outreach Centres across the country.
“The Adopted Villages are formidable tools for the dissemination of technologies to agrarian communities and support the drive the Ministry towards a strengthened extension service delivery in Nigeria.
“Accordingly, we will be distributing extension teaching materials to 11 Research Institutes and Colleges as part of the ongoing efforts of the Council to strengthen the Adopted Villages and Outreach Centres”, he added.
Explaining the reason for the establishment of the agricultural radio and television, the Executive Secretary of ARCN, Professor Garba Sharubutu said the Council needed enough airtime to be able to reach out to farmers across the country.
“Before now, the agricultural research system, has relied on either national radio or commercial radio stations. Most of these radio stations are self-sustaining and because of this, they have to seek funding, for every program we would want to air we have to pay, and by the time we computed from all the agricultural research institutes and put up what is necessary to actually take the message to the people, that was why we established the agricultural television and radio.
“Even if we pay for airtime, the slot we will be given to each of the agricultural research institutes will be a maximum of one hour, and it will not be enough for us to express ourselves for the farmers to actually appreciate what we are doing.
“So, as it is now, there is this notion that we are conducting research but people don’t know what we are doing, so that has stimulated us. If that is the issue, by the time we are able to reach the grassroots in terms of our innovations because the implication for this radio is that there will be more time, there will be a platform for question and answer and each research institute will be able to bring the solution to doorstep, there will be improved productivity.
“We are trying as much as possible to link up with NIMET for us to have ample time for them, the slot given to them on commercial radio will not be enough to warn the farmers across the country. We suffered production losses, we suffered post-production losses and these are issues that we need to bring to the fore for the farmers. By establishing this communication system we will be able to send information across to the farmers”, Professor Sharubutu explained.

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