By Adelola Amihere
The newly appointed Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof Garba Sharubutu has said that the Council under his stewardship will move to initiate a bill that tax generated from agricultural companies be separated and channeled to the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIS) and the Colleges of Agriculture for agricultural research and training.
Professor Sharubutu who was appointed the Acting Executive Secretary of ARCN in 2019, was formally appointed the substantive Executive Secretary of the Research Council in 2020.
According to him, while there are other sources of funding provided to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education such as TETFUND, CBN, PTDF, NDIC no such interventions target NARIs, Colleges of Agriculture and related disciplines.
The Executive Secretary who stated this in his mission and vision statement for the Council explained that “this will give priority to research, development of new remedies and generation of data. It is our intension to restructure the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) along the broad areas of agricultural practice, each with the capacity to conduct research and develop inputs based on specialization.
He stated that his mission was to provide scholarly and administrative leadership to the Council with the view to promote agricultural research, training, extension and production of quality farm inputs and to introduce reforms within the limits of the ‘mandate of the Council and in line with the priority and objectives of the Federal Government”
Speaking further, Prof Sharubutu hinted that every Research Institute and College of Agriculture will from time to time set targets, determine and publicise their Key Performance Indicators (KPI) as a means of measuring productivity and Research Fellows will participate in grass root mobilization and generation of information capable of triggering purposeful research.
He said the Council under his watch would commence coordination of agricultural activities across the length and breadth of the country, and linkage with National Pension Commission towards organising farming workshop for retired public servants.
On development of new products, Professor Sharubutu said “since the establishment of our Research Institutes, there has been a slow pace of new discoveries.
“This has led to the influx of foreign materials Which may not necessarily be suitable to our farming system. Efforts will be made towards developing new technologies to meet our local needs and that of our immediate neighbours.
“To achieve this, the Council will introduce a reward system for innovations and productivity. In addition, a biannual exhibition of research activities will be introduced to reward innovation by Researchers, the Research Institutes, Colleges of Agriculture and agriculture related organizations”, he stated