Non-commercialization of research findings by various agricultural institutes has been identified as one of the challenges that may give rise to hunger in Nigeria. The acting executive secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Garuba Sharubutu, stated this in Abuja while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with a private investor to “establish entrepreneur-like organisations’’ in various research institutes in the country.
He said: “If we want to really make agriculture something in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the present administration, we must have to put in some business sense into its practice. We bring innovation into agriculture. We research, get new findings and transmit to farmers for adoption. By so doing we believe that farming would be enhanced, agriculture and all the values chains would be developed to the benefits of this country and everyone at large. By implication, we reduce hunger, improve the economic wellbeing of citizens and provide food security.” He expressed dissatisfaction at the way graduates are being produced by various research centres and institutes without much technical or practical experience, a development which, he said, prompted the agency to engage with the private organisations.
“We believe that our students need laboratories to practice their skills before we send them out to the field. You cannot have competent agricultural scientists who cannot drive a machine. You cannot have a competent medical doctor who does not have a teaching hospital to practice. The idea behind this understanding is for Dipton Investment to come into our various research institutes and colleges to establish entrepreneur-like organisations that will serve both for training and for commercialization of our products.’’ Sharubutu added. Daily Trust