Support farmers input system, IAR&T urges state govts
The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, has urged state governments in the South-West geopolitical zone to support the activities of Research-Extension-Farmers-Input Linkage System (REFILS) in their states.
The institute’s Executive Director, Prof. James Adediran, made the call at the South-West REFILS workshop in Ibadan on Tuesday.
The theme of the workshop is “Diversification and Sustainability of Agricultural Production: the Role of Mechanisation’’.
Adediran underscored the need for the state governments to make concerted efforts to boost food security and sustainable agricultural production in their states by assisting all those who were engaged in agriculture.
He appealed to stakeholders, friends of research institutes and Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) to fund the activities of REFILS.
“We have to forge ahead with this mission if we want to be relevant to the needs of our farmers; all hands must be on the deck to achieve success,” he said.
The executive director noted that the level of performance and achievement of ADPs in the South-West states were quite low because of “epileptic’’ financial support.
Adediran, however, said that some of the technologies developed by IAR&T in the last few years were now available for the farmers’ use.
He stressed that research was dynamic, while new grounds must be broken continually to improve the well-being of mankind.
He added that research efforts in the agricultural sector should be tailored toward solving the farmers’ problems.
In his keynote address, Mr Abiodun Oladehinde, a former Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, stressed the need to encourage the local manufacture, repair and servicing of agriculture machinery and implements.
He said that government should assist local fabricators by providing financial aid for them.
Oladehinde underscored the need to increase research and development efforts on agricultural mechanisation, particularly in the country’s universities.
Earlier, Prof. Gabriel Oluwatosin, the South-West Zonal Coordinator of REFILS, said that the workshop was organised every year to consider current reports on REFILS in the six geopolitical zones.
He said that the aim of the workshop was to bring scientists, non-governmental organisations, policymakers, and farmers, among others, together to find pragmatic solutions to the production challenges facing the agricultural sector.
Oluwatosin said that it would also review the results of research and farming trials conducted by the ADP’s in the zone, while considering new proposals.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that dignitaries at the event include Oba Adebisi Layade, representative of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and Chief Amudu Ajibade, representative of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji.