The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Prof. Sheikh Abdullah, says the performance of Agricultural research institutes in the country has been average.
Abdullah gave the assessment when he featured at the Forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
“I will say averagely-the research institutes, they have done what they have done but when you say average, it means you can do better.
“So,a number of things are still sitting on the shelf. You may not blame the research institutes because the capacity to do the extension services may not be there,” he said.
According to him, a lot of the discoveries made by the institutes are still on the shelf because there was a disconnect between the discoveries and the market.
Abdullah said that the disconnect between the research institutes and the marketability of their research efforts had to be looked into to enable them to make a more positive impact.
He also spoke on the role of the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA), dispelling the notion that it was being used to divert public funds.
Prof. Sheikh Abdullah, the Minister ofAgriculture and Rural Development, at the forum also blamed the late delivery of fertiliser to farmers on leakages and corruption in the system.
According to him, the procedure by which the fertiliser is collectedalso contributes to the leakages.
However, he added: “A situation where you will be able to reach the farmers direct; perhaps that will reduce some of the problems of the leakages on the road.”
The minister assured farmers that the late delivery of fertiliser would not continue as the government was doing everything within its power to address the issue.
Abdullah regretted that the inadequate supply of power had affected the production of fertiliser, noting that fertiliser production could not be separated from the country’s industrialisation. “We have known in terms of the number of periods that we suffered the inadequacy of supply of power.That has made some industries to under-perform,” he said.
Abdullah said that to get the companies to resume fertiliser production,
there was the need to provide them with stable power supply.