The Agriculture and Veterinary Complex of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria says it will evolve robust research on agricultural extension and input linkage system to strengthen agricultural development in Nigeria.
Prof. Mohammed Kolo, Chairman of the Complex, made the remarks during a symposium organised in Zaria on Monday, March 29, 2021.
Kolo said the research has become imperative as COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession, climate change and farmer/herder conflict threatened food security.
Kolo, also the Executive Director, National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI), said it was the responsibility of the university to bring out national issues, brainstorm with stakeholders and proffer solutions.
He said the symposium should evolve a strategy for research and extension service delivery through different phases of agriculture.
He added that the phases should include: input sourcing, processing and production to packaging, marketing and utilisation.
“Such strategy should be pursued holistically and submitted as communiqué to policy makers, thereby promoting agricultural production in Nigeria.
“Reducing climate and post-harvest challenges, promote security as well as proffer lasting solution to farmers-herders clashes in the country,’’ he said.
The director commended efforts of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Bala, to turn the 363 hectare university farm into an integrated crop, fish and livestock enterprise.
He noted that the initiative would scale up revenue generation, teaching, research, agricultural skills acquisition and ensure regular supply of agricultural produce to the university community.
He appealed to key stakeholders to tap on the multidisciplinary potentials of the complex to strengthen food security, especially during the post COVID-19 era
In a remark, the Vice-Chancellor said the symposium was to showcase what the university has done in terms of research.
He noted that large volume of research work undertaken by the university has remained on the shelves of libraries and offices.
Bala added that there was need to publicise and utilise the researches for the benefit of society and national economy.
He said the Agriculture and Veterinary Complex has undertaken many things in terms of improced seeds, equipment and other things to boost Agriculture.
“In the first instance, the benefits of our research should be extended to the society; we want to also reposition the university in the committee of universities.
“ABU has been at the forefront of a national discourse, gradually we have shifted back a bit, we want to reclaim our position; we want to take the driver’s seat in discussing national issues whether social, political or social.
“In this respect, there were social, economic and political issues in agriculture,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor said the farmers/herders crises was taking more political dimension, adding that it was the duty of universities to proffer scientific solutions to them.
By Mustapha Yauri