The minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has urged Ahmadu Bello University’s Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) to come up with more innovative ideas to boost agricultural production in Nigeria.
He gave the advice at the 2018 Annual Agricultural Research Review and Planning Meeting with the theme ‘Diversification of the Nigerian Economy Through Innovative Agricultural Research and Extension.’
Represented by Chief Ime Umoh, Director, Agricultural Extension of the ministry, Ogbeh said: “Innovative agricultural research and extension must engender increased productivity by smallholder farmers so as to increase supply of agricultural products. This will satisfy local demands and raw materials for agro-based industries so as to enhance export substitution.”
The minister charged researchers and extension workers across the country to support and encourage farmers to embrace agriculture as a business.
The Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Professor Ibrahim Garba, said the essence of the meeting was to deliberate on issues affecting agriculture in Nigeria and proffer solutions.
IAR Director, Professor Ibrahim Umar Abubakar, said the institute was making efforts within available resources to conduct demand-driven innovative research on its mandate crops.