THE institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) has been called upon to focus on problem-solving and nation-fixing multidisciplinary research that responds to national aspiration with forex earning potentials.
The call was made by the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Abuja, Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro, while featuring as the Guest Lecturer during the maiden annual lecture of the institute titled: Research Development in Agriculture Sector: “The role of Research Institutes in innovative Value Chain transformation” on Monday.
Bogoro noted that IAR&T can attain global competitiveness provided it focusses on the institutionalisation of research and development in the agricultural sector of the economy by leading the implementations of recommendations of global, continental, regional and national development requirements .
He further stated that: “The institute should embark on the development of prototypes for the commoditisation of the priority agricultural value chains in Nigeria and imbibe the national gold standards in the value addition processes and product development to be globally competitive.
“ IAR&T should change the narratives of farners-herders crisis by embarking on strategic studies that will lead to evidence based, science led sustainable solutions to save the country from inestimable losses of lives and properties. The institute should lead research and development efforts that will reduce drudgery in our national agricultural systems using Information and Communication Technology and other emerging technologies.” He said.
Bogoro, also stated that the core mandates of research and training of IAR&T should be leveraged to lead Nigeria’s agricultural sector towards becoming the pivotal sector of the new knowledge economy.
“It is worthy of note that the traditional outputs of agricultural activities include food for humans, feed for animals, raw materials for industries, job/income for the citizens and revenue for government.
“This rejuvenation of these outputs using research and development tools will reposition IAR&T as a national and global reference institute.”
In his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Eyitayo Ogunbodede, informed that IAR&T is a multi-commodity areas (soil, crops, livestock, value addition and extension farming systems) towards the ultimate goal of supporting the nation to achieve self-sufficiency in food and industrial raw material production within a very short time.
He said:”In quest for up-to-date information on research for development, as well as becoming a centre of excellence in agricultural research, the management of IAR&T deemed it fit to start the institute’s annual lecture and the maiden edition which is holding today.”
Executive Director of the institute, Professor Veronica Obatolu, while welcoming guests to the lecture said:”It is not an overstatement to note that the desire for the diversification of our national economy away from mono-product economy based on oil can only be achieved through research-driven value chain development in agriculture.
“That is why IAR&T is delighted and immensely proud to initiate an annual lecture like this and the first of its kind which was delivered by no other person than Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, who has been playing a significant role in recognising and promoting research and development in our research and training system towards the socio-economic development of our nation.”
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