…task Nigeria on Agricultural Research
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA– INTERNATIONAL Agricultural experts warned on Thursday that famine and malnutrition looms in the country unless the federal government as a matter of urgency, puts in place, measures that would help address the problem of insecurity.
The experts said that while Agricultural research ratings of countries like Brazil, India , China etc, are moving upward, that of Nigeria is sliding downward on yearly basis with attendant increased food insecurity in the land portending danger of malnutrition if not practically addressed.
Speaking in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, APC Niger North, the Director-General of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Dr Shenggen Fan who led the two-man experts said that the federal government must engage in research- driven agricultural programmes on yearly basis to the problem of malnutrition that ma envelope the country in the next few years.
The experts urged the federal government to scale up its action on agricultural research for identification of problems bedeviling the sector, proffering solutions to them and sustaining whatever results achieved.
Dr Shenggen Fan who noted that Nigeria being the most populous country in Africa with the largest economy should use its agriculture in getting the greatest good for the greater number of her people and reinvigorate her economy, said, “We want you to see to your government redoubling its efforts in the promotion of research –driven agricultural sector as being practiced in many agriculturally developed countries of the world as the surest way of running a sector devoid of avoidable problems here and there culminating in poor output and invariably food insecurity with attendant cases of malnutrition as already reported in the North East area of the country and some other states outside the zone like Kebbi.”
He added by promising the total support of his Research Institute to any move in that respect by the federal government.
In his own remarks, Senator Sabi Abdullahi promised that as a federal lawmaker, he would lobby his other colleagues to join him in making the federal government run research-driven agricultural sector, saying “the country should no longer be working in silos, while others do with solution-driven findings made from researches.
He however urged the agricultural research experts to make similar submissions to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh today at a similar courtesy visit.