Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, has advised research institutes to commercialise their research and agricultural products to boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
A statement by the Deputy Director in the ministry, Mrs Julie Osagie Jacobs in Abuja on Wednesday, said the minister made the call during a tour of research institutes at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.
Jacobs quoted Lokpobiri as saying “commercialisation of research products would ensure sustainability of institutes.”
He said government alone could not provide the required funding for the institutes, hence the need for them to commercialise their products.
The minister visited the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS) and the National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) Zaria.
Lokpobiri urged the management of the institutes to partner donor agencies to support them in this regard, saying “if you don’t commercialise, you cannot maximise your potential.’’
The minister commended the achievements of the institutes despite challenges faced over the years.
He emphasised the need for further investment in research and manpower development to enable the country achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
He assured the people of Federal Government’s commitment to revitalise the agriculture sector and government’s continuous support to farmers through provision of fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides.
The Executive Director NAPRI, Prof. CAM Lakpini, on behalf of other directors of the institutes, informed the minister that plans were under way to partner the private sector to drive the commercialisation process.