By Chinyere Anyanwu                                   [email protected]


The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, has urged research institutes and colleges of agriculture to drive agricultural transformation through research and training.

Kyari stated this in Abuja at a recent Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) workshop for its directors, chief executive officers of the National Agricultural Research Institutes and Federal Colleges of Agriculture. The minister, who was represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Aliyu Abdullahi, said agricultural transformation is the main reason the Federal Government is insisting on the implementation of the ARCN Act amended in 2021.

The amendment, he said, made provisions for efficient management of research and training, including the establishment of spinoff companies to commercialise research products and innovations generated by the country’s institutions.

Kyari said the platform must be strengthened as a means of increasing the internally generated revenue of all institutions in order to augment the available fund for research, training and extension.

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He, however, directed Colleges of Agriculture to emphasise vocational and skill acquisition in their training programmes. 

This, he said, will enable the beneficiaries of the training programmes to have practical and working knowledge of agricultural businesses.

He said, “there is a clear concern on growing shortages of staple crops such as rice, wheat, cassava, soybean, millet and sorghum, among others, which are key to the achievement of food security of our dear nation. “This must be the main reason President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared food security as the number one of his eight-point agenda to drive economic development of the country.

“Agriculture is the singular most important sector that can transform the economy of our great country to meet the growing demands for food, nutrition, industry and jobs. Accordingly, increase in agricultural productivity is the key determinant for socio-economic transformation and thus livelihood improvements in Nigeria.”

In his remarks, Prof. Garba Sharabutu, the Executive Secretary of ARCN, said the council would work with relevant stakeholders to ensure the country achieves self-sufficiency in food production.

He said ARCN will deliberate on the new performance-based evaluation system, among others, as well as issues that have to do with the restructuring of the council.