Research Works On Cocoa, Livestock Already In Farms, Says ARCN

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The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), has said research works on cocoa and livestock in the various Agriculture Research Institutes have been put in use in farms.

Executive Secretary of the Council, Professor Garba Sharubutu, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja while presenting his Scorecard to Agriculture Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ACAN) in Abuja.

Sharubutu said off-takers were yet to buy those research works which has been the major problem the research institutes are facing.

According to him, “The research institutes cannot continue to develop, and nobody comes forward to off-take them.

While noting that there is a lot of competition between quick yielding trade and agricultural, he reiterated the need  to look at agriculture as short and long term.

For Cocoa, he said the government released fund to the Cocoa Research Institute (CRIN) to develop new varieties of the crop.

“Cocoa has been a crop of concern to the Minister, when we went to brief the minister over the issue of cocoa research, his first challenge to us there is some of the best breeders we have in this country are Yoruba, Cocoa is a Yoruba crop, how come the best brains are now allowing the best product to be taken over by Ivory Coast.

“Just last week, the Executive Director of Cocoa Research Institute was given a grant. The government has given a grant to develop Cocoa, and that was out of the observation that was raised”, he said.

For livestock, the ARCN boss said National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) has been making efforts to improve the milk and meat output of cattle, but it has been faced with the challenge of getting the animals in one place.

He said efforts were also being made by the Council to introduce internship in the various Colleges of Agriculture in order to equip and train the graduates on the rudiments of the sector.

The Executive Secretary added that he had sent a proposal to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to approve the establishment of internship in all the colleges to serve as training centre for Agriculture graduates.

“I have under my purview 11 colleges of Agriculture, and let us assume that this 11 colleges of Agriculture are producing 20 HND holders, so we’re going to have 220, now you have 220 farmers every year in this country, it is going to impact seriously.

“But the total number of Colleges of Agriculture we have in this country is 52 so if each of them produce 20 HND holders, what are we doing with this 20?

“By our own analysis, we have found out that less than 30% of them go into agriculture”, he explained.

– The Nation

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