FG vows to reposition research institutes, extension services to support food security 

Posted by News Express | 19 March 2021 | 369 times

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The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Hon Mustapha Baba Shehuri, has stated that the federal government will continue to strengthen its agricultural research institutes and extension services in order to collectively deliver on its mandate on food security.

The Minister said work was ongoing to develop a new paradigm shift that will guarantee sustainable food production.

“The new paradigm shift focuses on the Research and Development, good Extension Services, Input deliveries and provision of Integrated Rural Infrastructures to support farmers and other stakeholders,” he said.

The Minister made the disclosure during a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, in Government House, Benin, Edo State, on Wednesday.

Shehuri stated that research institutes are to engage in farmers driven and coordinated research activities that will yield immediate benefit to farmers, adding this is being supported with good Extension Services for farmers to take maximum advantage of research output.

He further disclosed that the ministry has the mandate of ensuring that food and nutritional security is attained by working closely with all the State Governments, private sectors and other relevant stakeholders.

The Minister informed that about 1100 extension agents were trained in the first batch of the training comprising 30 from each state of the federation and the FCT.

The training exercise is a train-the-trainer approach and the extension agents are to step down the new innovations acquired to the farmers in their communities.

Shehuri further said: “Edo State is among the leading states in the productions of Rice, Cassava and Maize amongst the food crops.

“In access of tree crops, Edo State is a clear leader in Oil Palm, Rubber and of recent, the cocoa production in the state has stepped up to rival with other states such as Ondo and Osun states.”

According to him some of the intervention projects of the ministry in Edo State that are on-going or have been completed in the Rural Communities of the State meant to augment state efforts.

He said: “These interventions include asphalt Rural Roads, Solar Powered/Motorized Boreholes and Solar Street Lights in different parts of Rural Communities in Edo State.”

He added that “the Nigeria Institute of Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) and Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria (RRIN) are among the two oldest Research Institutes located in Edo State.”

Speaking, Governor Obaseki said that the Agricultural policies of the state are in tune with the Federal Government’s programme of diversification of the economy through agriculture.

The governor expressed the need to streamline some of the agricultural institutes in the country, which will help government to reduce running costs and curb wastage.

“There is need for robust partnerships and collaboration with the Federal Government towards achieving food security and fast tracking the economic growth of the nation,” Obaseki said.

The Minister in the course of his visit to Ovia South West to provide capacity building for Smallholder farmers and enhance food production in the state, charged the benefiting communities to utilize the platform for the betterment of the community and boost local production, according to a statement signed by Ezeaja Ikemefuna, Chief Information Officer in the ministry.


Source: News Express

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