The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) has said it will play a leading role in the country’s new agricultural policy.
Prof. Garba Sharabutu, executive secretary of the council, told reporters on the sidelines of the FAO regional meeting in Abuja that the ARCN was developing a strategy to adopt a demand-driven approach to meet the needs of the sector.
“We are currently reviewing most of the innovations in hopes of getting them out into the field so that our farmers have easier access to them.
“One can ask: what are we doing so that farmers have access to our technologies, especially those who are in rural areas? First, the government has ordered that we make sure to establish outreach centers in every nook and cranny. Thus, each of our research institutes is now mandated to open and strengthen its extension units in rural areas,”
“Now at ARCN we give them the facilities – televisions, radios, teaching materials, chairs and where possible we build offices for them so that we go back to years past when people would visit a village or the others showing them how technologies will be adopted to improve productivity.
“The second thing we’ve done to make sure that it reaches the farmers is the radio and television that we’ve created for them to practically see it through television and to listen more seriously through radio so that all those innovations are there.
“So at the moment it’s not about farmers not knowing where our research institutes are and where our outreach centers are, but it’s a situation that we’re now going to shift to them rather than waiting at the office for farmers to come and ask us for information. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do,” he said.