The Federal Government has inaugurated a committee for the implementation of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) Amendment act 2021, for impactful research in the country.
It is also for the total repositioning of the council and its affiliated institutes and colleges to ensure better performance, impactful research and development activities in Nigeria.A statement by Mrs Mabel Obe, a Senior Information Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the committee was inaugurated by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, on Tuesday in Abuja.The minister during the inauguration said agricultural research and development was a crucial determinant of agricultural productivity and production as well as boosting food security.
He reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration towards advancing research and development activities for the effective and efficient use of agricultural resources and the diversification of the economy.“Consequently, our focus of strengthening the coordination of research and development activities within the sector is to create a single comprehensive Governing Board for the ARCN and its related Institutes and Colleges for effective management, streamlining and economic purposes.”
The council and its affiliated Institutes and colleges should be encouraged to implement technologies to increase the nutrient density of commercial and staples crops through good agronomic practices, conventional plants breeding, or modern biotechnology,” he said.In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said that agriculture has been and still remained a major focus for engaging individuals and relevant corporate sector entities in Agribusiness.”
This is to support value chain addition to other commodities, production of adequate food for the teeming population and a major contributor to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.Umakhihe urged all members of the committee to be dispassionate in aligning their decisions with the salient contents of the Amended ARCN Act in order to come out with good recommendations for the enhancement of the entire Agricultural Research ecosystem.The Chairman of the Committee, Prof Bala Abubakar, said that the reform process that led to the amended Act commenced in 2012 after a team of staff of the council, the ministry and other stakeholders undertook a guided tour to Brazil, India, China to understudy global best practice in agricultural research models.
He said the comprehensive back-to -station report provided the key ingredients of the draft ARCN amendment bill which was eventually assented to by President Buhari in September 2021.Abubakar said that there is an urgent need to constitute panels that would extensively reviewed the activities of all institutions of the reformed ARCN.He promised that the committee would deliver on the assignment to the best of its ability.According to him, the committee members have been tasked to ” develop a roadmap for the implementation of the ARCN Amendment Act 2021.” Identify, assess and recommend competent individuals who can serve in the Council in line with the provision of the Amended Act.“Identify the sailent issues in the new act with the aim of implementation; articulate and identify funding.” Also windows that could be explored in the implementation of ARCN Amended Act:”.