The Mountain Top University said continuous practical research will solve real problems in readjusting food production in Nigeria.
The Deputy Director-General, Partnership for Development, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Dr. Kenton Dashiell, disclosed this while giving the eighth distinguished lecture series of MTU titled, ‘Implication of linkages in research and national development and food security: The IITA experience.’
While explaining the implications of research to national development, Dashiell said: “It is important that research should never stop at the research institutes. It needs to go out and help society. That means, first of all, the research must be practical, in addressing the real problems and opportunities for food production, in this case, in Nigeria.
“Once scientists develop their innovations, they can truly help food production and extend it to the government and private sector so that they can take those products to millions of people across the country.”
“I think the government is already putting together very good programmes to build up infrastructure for processing and for production.
“It is called special-agriculture processing zones. I think it is a very, very good programme that will be successful.
“Ministries of Agriculture across the country can focus on the prospects and challenges in each state.
“Insecurity is devastating and the government needs to find a lasting solution to it so that the farmers will have the peace they need to go to farm. The fear of their crops being stolen and the fear of being kidnapped is alarming.”
In his own remarks, Vice-Chancellor MTU, Prof. Elijah Ayolabi, explained that the lack of food security accounted for falling health standards, poverty, insecurity, and general restiveness in the body politic.
His words: “The importance of food security to national development cannot be overemphasized. Many people do not appreciate food security and how important it is to the overall well-being of the populace. The implications of a lack of food security in any country are enormous. It accounts for falling health standards, poverty, insecurity, and general restiveness in the body politic.”
According to Ayolabi, there is a worrisome trend where many institutions, persons, and organizations engaged in different pastimes that were not geared toward national development.
“Anything that guarantees national development guarantees human development. The lack of human development is responsible for all the anomalies and anguish all over the world today. Humanity has unfortunately become a victim of global neglect. This is because research and inquiries that should aid human development were unfortunately focused on discoveries that will ensure financial and material accomplishments for institutions, individuals, and different bodies. I am sure that our country Nigeria urgently needs all forms of human development from the lowest to the highest echelon,” he said.