From Yakubu Mustapha Minna
The federal government has been urged to use the chunk of money recovered from looters by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the agricultural research sector of the economy to actualize food security and boost the economic base of the country.
The Executive Director of National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi Dr Aliyu Umar made the appeal in a chat with journalists at the weekend in Bida, Niger State, saying that this will go a long way in enhancing government’s diversification policy.
Dr Umar said that research in developed countries of the world usually received huge amounts of money to get results actualized, noted that the institute would soon release cereal varieties of about seven (7) that can adopt and suitable for climatic conditions with improved seeds and high yield compared to the current seeds.
He advocated for farming integrated system to minimize the current farmers and herder’s clashes in Nigeria.
He appreciated the federal government’s diversification efforts especially in agriculture where the resources of the country can be harnessed.
The Executive Director reaffirmed the institution’s determination on modern farming technologies like irrigation facilities, infrastructure and improved seedlings that will fast rack the federal government’s quest for food sufficiency in rice production and reposition agriculture in the country.
Umar further enumerated some of the institute’s challenges to include; paucity of funds, lack of adequate infrastructure, lack of private sector participation, energy (power supply), unstable social economic exchange as well as lack of extension to pass relevant information to the farmers.