Hon. Minister of Agric. Meets with ARCN, NARIs and FCAs

Hon. Minister of Agric. Meets with ARCN, NARIs and FCAs

Hon. Minister of Agric. Meets with ARCN, NARIs and FCAs

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mahmood Mohammed Abubakar, met with the Executive Secretary (ES) ARCN, Executive Directors/CEOs of NARIs and FCAs on February 10, 2022. In his welcome address, he opined that Mr. President is very much interested in taking the agricultural research to the next level through research, innovation and technology because he holds agriculture dear to his administration’s agenda. The Hon. Minister noted that no country exists without a good agricultural base. Hence, the Ministry is about to release the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP 2022 – 2027) which will be the main framework on how to drive agriculture for the next six years. Accordingly, the meeting was expected to assist in reviewing how the ministry has fared in the past years and set tone for the year 2022.

According to the Hon. Minister, the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari relies on agriculture for food production and economic development in order to bring the country back on the path of growth; hence research and training therefore occupies a special place as a strategy for fulfilling Mr. President’s goal and therefore a priority in the ministry’s drive to attain greater productivity. The Hon. Minister indicated that he has contacted Mr. President and he has assured him of his readiness to significantly improve the capacity of staff of the ARCN, NARIs and FCAs. To this end, he has directed that the NARIs and FCAs should furnish the Ministry through the ARCN with critical areas of human resources needs, especially research fellows, lecturers, analysts, technologists and technicians.

The Hon. Minister stated that the ARCN Amended Act 2021 has made provisions for the establishment of spin-off companies within the NARIs and FCAs, which is a deliberate strategy by Mr President to utilize the enormous potentials to generate revenues and to augment the current budgetary allocations. Research products are expected to be taken off the shelves for the immediate utilisation by farmers, industries and consumers. He also urged that strong drive be ensured towards attracting research grants to supplement the available funds to enhance lesser dependence on government funding in the nearest future.

Furthermore, the Hon. Minister opined that, apart from NAERLS, each NARI and FCA has a responsibility to establish extension service departments and units. He therefore directed that with the expected increase of manpower, all the stakeholders are to rejuvenate the extension services unit and ensure effective delivery of research results to end users.

The Hon. Minister directed the ARCN to come up with a programme for all the Research Institutes and Colleges to exhibit their sellable discoveries that can change the fortune of agriculture in the country before the end of the second quarter of the year 2022. Additionally, NARIs and FCAs were directed by the Hon. Minister to unfailingly submit monthly, quarterly and annual reports through the ARCN to the ministry which the Hon. Minister said he expects by the end of April, 2022. Other highlights of the briefing are: implementation plan of the budget 2022 must be ready before budget releases; cognisance of the dare need of equipment in NARIs and FCAs should be taken; ensuring that current staff are well capacitated through training and retraining; ensuring the reduction of crisis within the system in order to avoid all forms of acrimony; developing positive initiative in order to ensure stable vision and aspiration.

In his response, the ES ARCN, Prof. Garba Hamidu Sharubutu mni, acknowledged the Hon. Minister’s remarks and directives, but raised some concerns as regards the New Amended ARCN Act which according to him cannot be fully implemented without the Hon. Minister’s approval. Others are the absorption of the just added five FCAs, the proscription of the governing boards, the issue of constant visitors to the agricultural research institutes and colleges as well as the need for a retreat for the Council, Institutes and Colleges to be chaired by the Hon. Minister.

Previous Marketing and Management Institute Visits ARCN

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