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‘Agricultural research suffers under funding’

Presenting a paper at the on-going 2014 National Agricultural Show Seminar at Tudun Wada, along Abuja-Keffi expressway in Nasarawa State, Professor Abubakar stated that for…

Presenting a paper at the on-going 2014 National Agricultural Show Seminar at Tudun Wada, along Abuja-Keffi expressway in Nasarawa State, Professor Abubakar stated that for agricultural research to make concrete impact on food and nutrition security in the country, it should be adequately and timely funded.
According to him, apart from the low budgetary allocations to agricultural research over the years, “only 16% of the N6 billion approved by the Federal Government in 2009 for the implementation of the Competitive Agricultural Research Grant Scheme (CARGS) has been released so far.”
He lamented, “Only about 50% of the capital budgets of the research agencies are released annually on the average,” stressing that about 61% of agricultural research budgets is spent on infrastructure, leaving very little for research.
He noted that some research projects have gone down the drain due to lack of funds and untimely release as well.
The Executive Secretary pointed out that low private sector investment in agricultural research in Nigeria could be traced to the fact that private sector agricultural agencies “gain costless access to virtually all the research results generated by the public research agencies.”
Another contributing factor he identified for low private sector investment in agricultural research is that the process for varietal release takes a lot of time and constitutes a disincentive to investment in crop varietal research.
Professor Abubakar urged the government to reform and restructure agricultural research, and separate research fund from capital budget for effective performance of the research agencies.

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