AFAN President Canvasses Adequate Funding For Agric Research Institutes | Independent Newspapers Limited
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AFAN President Canvasses Adequate Funding For Agric Research Institutes

Posted: Sep 26, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chibuzor Emejor


National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Prince Ike Ubaka, has canvassed for adequate provision of funds to Agricultural Research Institutes across the country to boost food production and guarantee food security in Nigeria.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Independent in Abuja, Ubaka bemoaned a situation where Agricultural Research Institutes are starved of funds, adding that quality research would translate to food productivity in the country.

He explained that high yielding disease resistant varieties of crops produced in the Research Institutes would tremendously enhance productivity in agriculture.

According to him, the quality of food produced, to a large extent, depends on the quality of inputs or seeds used.

He maintained that the concentration of government should not only be on the provision of fertilizer to farmers, adding that high yielding improved seeds or seedlings should be provided to farmers to guarantee  bumper harvest.

According to him, “Provision of fertilizer is not the only challenge facing farmers. In fact, government should not be involved in the procurement and distribution of fertilizer.

“It should be done by the private sector. Government is supposed to concern itself with research and adequate funding of agricultural extension, because research cannot be properly done without extension.

“The mistake we often make is to research without extension. And where there is no research, there is nothing to extend.”

Commenting on the introduction and impact of Growth Enhancement Support (GES) Scheme by the immediate past administration, Ubaka described the Scheme as “a political agriculture programme,” which has little impact on food productivity.

He faulted the process of registering farmers under the Scheme, which according to him, sidelined real farmers.

On the appointment of new Minister of Agriculture by President Muhammadu Buhari, he counseled that a person who is knowledgeable, competent and highly experienced in the sector should be appointed to drive the sector.