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Food security: Agricultural research will be given priority, says minister

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, says agricultural research will be his priority for improved seeds to boost food production and improve the economy.

Mohammad Abubakar
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar

Abubakar said this on Monday, November 15, 2021, at a working visit to the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), in Abuja.

The minister noted that research was very key to development, saying that, to have a meaningful agriculture, there must be researches and innovations.

“Research is everything without a doubt, this is the engine of the agricultural sector and of course for any vehicle to move, it must have a good engine.

“Research is one of the key areas for me and the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.

Abubakar assured the ARCN of his support and cooperation, saying that Nigeria needed a strong base to ensure food security.

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“Agriculture can make a difference, it is your responsibility to research, develop, make innovations to make Nigeria self sufficient to be able to export anything we want through innovative researches, and ARCN and Agriculture will make that difference,” he said.

On prices of food stuffs, the minister said that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to bring the prices of food stuffs down by collaborating with international organisations to boost agriculture.

Earlier, Prof. Garba Sharubutu, the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), assured the minister of ARCN’s support to the minister and the diversification agenda of President Buhari which is aimed at achieving nutrition and food security, reducing poverty rate and improving the agribusiness in the agric sector.

Sharubutu said that the provision for the establishment of the spinoff companies by institutes was a deliberate strategy to ensure that researches were made more demand- driven and marketable.

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“Institutes can now ensure that their innovations are multiplied and marketed to generate more funding to run their affairs.

“It is expected that this provision will enable the institutions to partner with the private sector to multiply and make technologies available to the target population,” he said.

The minister, who also visited the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS), gave assurance that the ministry would support the agency to ensure effective service delivery.

Speaking, the Comptroller-General, the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS), Dr Vincent Isegbe, who congratulated the minister on his appointment, prayed that his stay in the ministry would be impactful and fulfilling.

Isegbe pledged the unalloyed support and commitment of the NAQS to the administration of the Minister of Agriculture in the exercise of its mandate.

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”We further pledge our unalloyed support and commitment to the administration of the minister of Agriculture in the exercise of our mandate and we request the minister to kindly support and guide the NAQS towards the exercise of its mandates,” he said.

At the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), Abubakar said that he would engage the National Assembly and the Central Bank of Nigeria to assist NAIC achieve its mandate.

Speaking, Mrs Folashade Joseph, Managing Director, the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC), said that insurance was the bedrock in any business.

She told the minister that NAIC had organised training for youths and women as well as stakeholders.

By Doris Esa

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