By Maryam Abeeb
As part of efforts towards making Nigeria a knowledge economy and attaining food sufficiency, the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro has called on the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ibadan, to develop a new focus of conducting “problem-solving and nation-fixing multidisciplinary research that responds to national aspiration with forex earning potentials”.
Prof. Bogoro made the call while delivering a paper titled Research for Development in Agriculture Sector: The Role of Research Institutes in Innovative Value Chain Transformation at the first annual lecture of IAR&T in Ibadan recently.
He stated that multi-commodity value chain agricultural research institutes such as IAR&T have some responsibilities to lead value added, innovative and transformative research in top food and cash crops in collaboration with other relevant institutes across the country.
According to the Executive Secretary, IAR&T could attain global competitiveness through focus on the institutionalization of R&D in the agricultural sector of the economy, by leading the implementation of the recommendations of global, continental, regional and national development requirements.
“The core mandates of Research and Training of IAR&T should be leveraged to lead Nigeria’s agricultural sector towards becoming the pivotal sector of the new knowledge economy.
“It is worthy of note that the traditional outputs of agricultural activities include food for humans, feed for animals, raw materials for industries, job/income for the citizens and revenue for government. The rejuvenation of these outputs using R&D tools will reposition IAR&T as a national and global reference institute,” he said.
Prof. Bogoro called for a more robust relationship between Obafemi Awolowo University, IAR&T and the Department of Agriculture of the university for greater efficiency.