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April 14, 2024

FG Recruits 1,650 Agric Scientists, Plant Breeders to Boost Food Production – ARCN

No fewer than 1,650 agricultural scientists have been recruited by the Federal Government of Nigeria to strengthen research institutions’ workforce in the country, in order to boost food production and security.

This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria,  ARCN, Prof Garba Sharubutu, during a media interaction at the Council’s headquarters in Abuja.

In his words: “The federal government approved the recruitment of 1,650 scientists to boost the staff strength in the area of research, particularly the instruction is for us to recruit breeders, those that are going to bring about the genetic improvement of our local crops.”

Speaking further, Sharubutu said the Council is strategically positioned to galvanize the agricultural space, and also to ensure Nigerians farmers get the best research products that could add value to their productivity along various agricultural value chains.

He said the Council currently had keyed into the declaration of emergency in the sector by President Bola Tinubu, and already is on top gear to actualise the President’s vision and passion for the sector.

According to him, all the research institutions under the Council are assiduously working on various agricultural value chains to ensure farmers and other stakeholders get the best to meet their demands.

He said: “We also completed another round of training of our newly recruited scientists.

“This training we completed yesterday (Thursday) was attended by a selected few, particularly, those who are breeders because these are areas that we are in dire need of.”

However, he counseled that, “If we need food to be pleasant, our advice to the government is to concentrate on quick maturing crops. What do we mean by maturing crops? We mean rice, yam, cassava, wheat, Guinea, corn, millet, these are what we call the quick maturing crops, but our advice entails the fact that order products or commodities should not be neglected.

“We cannot neglect the cash crop because of the need to diversify, and if you look at the mandate of Mr. President, and his priority list, he mentioned food security as number one.

“Now having understood the principles by which the Asiwaju government is driving it behooves on us as agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture to also receive this direction from Mr. President, the Honorable Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari giving him what we are doing at various levels.

“We are going to hold a meeting with all the agricultural research institutes and the colleges of agriculture to redirect ourselves. The purpose of the meeting is to see what we have done so far, and then what we intend to do in the 2024 budget year, and it is on 25-26 January , 2024, and it is to pave the way in order to achieve this very serious mandate, particularly that Mr. President has come up to declare a state of emergency in food security.

“Now as the Agricultural Research Institute of Nigeria, the implementation of our own mandate has a good number of strategies. The number one strategy is what we are doing at the national level. 

“The second, is what we are doing at the international level because try as we could to make sure that our researches are made very viable, and answer all the questions of our farmers we must link up with international organizations for us to be able to strike, especially those that provide the necessary funding for us to continue.”

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