[TR News] Agric experts seek review of research council bud

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Friday Olokor

Stakeholders have advocated proper funding of agricultural research to achieve breakthrough in the nation’s food production and industrial growth.

Speaking in Abuja during the third national stakeholders’ forum with the theme, “Making agricultural research work for end-users”, they also called for a review of the budget of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria for meaningful research in the sector.

The event was organised by the Agricultural Policy Research Network, led by a researcher/consultant in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension at the University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Anthony Onoja, in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute, Nigeria.

According to the experts, agricultural research also generates technologies and knowledge that will impact on productivity through more efficient utilisation of inputs, stimulates economic activities in the agricultural sector/industries and contribute to multiple goals that would lead to social benefits in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of ARCN, Prof. Baba Yusuf Abubakar, said the highest of $393.9m was total agricultural research spending in 2011.

According to him, Agricultural Research for Development, remains the main driver of productivity growth in agriculture.

Abubakar also affirmed the need for government to further stimulate private sector investment in agricultural research while still playing its major role at the same time in order to overcome food shortages in the country.

He said, “Increasing agricultural research investment would lead to agricultural productivity and productivity growth in the long run. The main driver of future growth in agricultural productivity is today’s investment in R4D. Significant decline in the rate of agricultural productivity growth in developing countries could be attributed to underinvestment in researches that promote productivity.”

Abubakar hinted that Brazil’s dedication and deliberate efforts in building research capacity must have contributed to significant improvement in the quality of researchers in the EMBRAPA system.

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‘’Low levels of investment in agricultural R4D in developing countries are attributable to significant failures in R4D markets and institutional efficiencies, particularly the difficulty of preventing the resale of seed and the inability of innovators to capture their returns on R4D investments”, he added.

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