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July 25, 2024
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N34.45bn Needed to Revitalize Root,Tuber Crops Production – ED, NRCRI

The National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) Umudike, has said about N34.45 billion is needed to revitalize root and tuber crops’ production in the country.

In a statement signed by the Executive Director of NRCRI, Prof. Chiedozie Egesi, the institute said that root and tuber crops are central to the diets of Nigerians, with the average family consuming these foods at least once per day. Nigeria ranks among the world’s major consumers of root and tubers, with these crops serving as crucial sources of carbohydrates, essential for nutrition and sustenance.

“Root and tuber crops, including cassava, yam, cocoyam, potato, and ginger, are central to the diets of Nigerians, with the average family consuming these foods at least once per day. 

“Nigeria ranks among the world’s major consumers of root and tubers, with these crops serving as crucial sources of carbohydrates, essential for nutrition and sustenance.

“These crops are also pivotal for animal feed and the production of starch, alcohol, and fermented beverages.”

The statement also highlights the list of urgent intervention projects required by NRCRI Umudike such as; Renovation of dilapidated NRCRI offices, buildings and farm houses in Headquarters and Six outstations (N4.2 billion), Development of Gassol outstation ( N1 billion), Expansion and equipping of SAH laboratory ( N500,000,000), Establishment of new SAH laboratories in each of the six outstations (N2 billion), Construction of screen houses at the headquarters and six outstations ( N1billion), Establishment of early generation seed multiplication farms (N6billion), Acquisition of 100ha land in FCT and upgrading of Nyanya outstation (N2.5billion), Training and empowerment (N5billion), and Provision of utility vehicles to facilitate research activities and distribution of improved seed to farmers (N1billion), all which amounts to a grand total cost estimate of N34.45billion. 

However, Egesi said that Nigeria’s ability to meet the rising food demand is constrained by factors such as population pressure and a lack of adequate infrastructure in root and tuber crop research.

He urged the government and other stakeholders to invest in NRCRI Umudike to revamp the institute for increased root and tuber crops production in Nigeria even as the institute clocks 100 years.

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