The In-house Research Review of the Institute took place from June 14 to 16, 2022 in the tastefully furnished Lawrence Opeke Conference Hall with over 190 participants in attendance. It was a forum for the Heads of Programmes to present the research reports of 2021 as well as the proposals for year 2022 research activities. The theme of this year research review is: National Economic Empowerment through Sustainable Research and Development of Cocoa, Cashew, Coffee, Kola and Tea.
In his opening speech, the CRIN Executive Director (ED), Dr. Patrick Adebola, noted that research is the backbone of the Nation’s food security and development, hence the need to pay attention to its preparation and execution for quality output. He opined that “addressing the issue of food security has to be through research, because if there is no research focus, there is no way we can increase food production or ensure that the food we are producing are nutritional and ensure increased yields by farmers. The Institute will keep producing new varieties of our mandate crops to sustain the economy and food production in the country.”
The ED CRIN, Dr. Patrick Adebola, noted that farmers are scattered all over the country and there is dearth in the number of Extension Officers to reach them. To bridge this gap, the ED pointed it out that CRIN, from time to time, organises a lot of training and workshops to reach the farmers. He, therefore, enjoined the Federal Government to continue to support the Institute so that we will have more extension officers that can take all the technologies back to the farmers for them to be able to adopt them.
In his keynote address, the Managing Director/CEO Harvestfield Industries Limited, Mr. Martins A. Awofisayo, represented by the Chief Operating Officer of the company, Dr. Abdullahi Ndarubu, opined that Public Private Partnership (PPP) will translate into sustainable food security. Private sectors and research institutes must synergise towards National Economic Empowerment.
The In-house Research Review attracted the who-is-who in research from the Universities, Research Institutes and Private Sectors in Nigeria as well as technology off-takers in order to thoroughly scrutinise the reports and proposals. Notable among the dignitaries in attendance was Professor Gerald Iremiren, who happened to be the longest serving Executive Director of the Institute. Other former staff of the Institute, who shelved their busy schedules in order to honour the invitation of our amiable Executive Director, Dr. Patrick Adebola to the event were Prof. O.M. Aliyu, Prof. L.A. Hammed, Prof. A.O. Olaiya, Prof. R.A. Sanusi, Prof. S.O. Adeogun and Prof. J.C. Anikwe, Sanusi.
Ably present at the meeting were also Oyo State Agric. Extension and Tree Crop Development Unit, Forest Economic Extension Services, National Agricultural Extension and Research (South West Zone), Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Abia State Agricultural Development Program, Tulip Cocoa Processing Limited, Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria, Coffee and Tea Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kola and Bitter Kola Farmers Association of Nigeria and CRIN adopted farmers.
The media was not left out as the Nigerian Television Authority and CEO Africa were on ground to give the event the widest coverage. The Heads of Programmes took turns to make presentations on their respective crops while the chairmen and the audience made vital inputs in order to give the research a national outlook. At the end of the program, a communiqué was presented for interaction along the value chain of the mandate crops.
The Institute organised a surprised birthday in honour of Prof. Gerald Iremiren who turned 75 on June 15, 2022. The erudite Professor, for the love the Institute, arrived on June 13, 2022 in order to grace the in-house ceremony on the 14th despite the nearness of his birthday. It was indeed an emotion laden event as both past and present staff of the Institute took turns to pour encomium on the celebrant. The Prof., who fought back tears, was visibly taken aback at the show of love by the Institute he left over ten years ago. Indeed, the fruits of his good deeds yielded good dividends.