Prof Yusufu Abubakar, the Executive Secretary, the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ACRN), has called for adequate funding of agricultural research institutes to enhance their productivity.
Abubakar made the call in Abuja while speaking at a one-day symposium organised by the Nigerian Agricultural Policy Research Network ( NAPRNet).
He said that due to inadequate funding, many of the institutes had performed below expectation, adding that “their findings end up as book shelf materials’’.
Represented by Prof Damian Chikwendu, a Director in the Council, Abubakar said that the research institutes in the country numbering about 40, lacked a stable coordinating agency.
He recalled that in 2004 and 2006 six of the 16 agricultural research institutes had zero capital budget.
He also noted regrettably, that the challenge of infrastructural decay in the institutions had impeded research efforts.
Other factors militating against the activities of the institutions included the lack of adequate manpower as most of the researchers were aging without replacement, he said.
The executive secretary called for a holistic approach to the conduct and funding of agricultural research.
He also stressed the need to strengthen the agriculture extension scheme to make it continuously relevant to the development of agricultural activities in the country.
Abubakar challenged the state governments to equip the Agricultural Development Programmes, considering their importance as effective means of disseminating research findings to farmers.
“The ADPs are poorly funded and lack tools to work with. State governments cannot do away with them because they remain the main extension delivery system in the country; therefore their problem must be addressed,’’ he said.