Experts call for establishment of Agric Trust Fund to finance agric research

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Ilorin- Experts in aquaculture and post-harvest researches in Nigeria, have called for the establishment of Agricultural Trust Fund (ATF), to finance researches aimed at boosting food production in the country.
The research experts made the call on Sunday at the end of presentation of research findings of various research projects being sponsored by West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presentation took place at the Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute (NSPRI), Ilorin.
Researchers were drawn from NSPPRI, Nigerian Fisheries and Fresh Water Research Institute (NFFRI), new Bussa and Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Lagos.
Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the Executive Director of NSPRI, Prof. Olufemi Peters, said the trust fund was necessary to enable agriculture-based Research Institutes access fund to carry out their activities.
He said Research Institutes were facing the challenge of funding as they could not access funds from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), hence the need for the trust fund being advocated.
He commended WAAPP Nigeria for providing fund for the three research institutes (NSPPRI, NFFRI, NIOMR) to carry out research that would boost fish production and reduce post- harvest losses.
Peters said WAAPP mandated the institutes to develop cost effective technologies for fish smoking and drying, as well as packaging materials for marketing processed fish.
He said the institutes recorded tremendous successes in all areas of their mandate during the phase 1 of WAAPP Nigeria project, designed to improve the living standard of Nigerians and reduce poverty in the society.
Peters however said all the products designed and produced under the WAAPP-sponsored project, needed financial support and massive investment, to make them available to farmers. (NAN)