The Executive Director of the Institute of Agriculture Research (IAR), Professor Fagugi Ishaku, has stated that the Federal Government was keen on investing more funds in enhancing research on improved irrigation system to supplement rain-fed agricultural production. He said that the development would boost the productivity of farmers across the country and fast-track the drive to fully commercialise Nigeria’s agriculture, as well as prime the sector, the mainstay of the nation’s economy, and noted that the institute cannot do without improving and exploiting the potential of irrigation agriculture.
“We cannot do without improving and exploiting the potential of irrigation agriculture and this has now inspired us to focus more on irrigation research work that will improve the productivity of our conventional crops during the dry season just as in the rainy season,” He added that the Federal Government backed the research to enable farmers enjoy improved cultivation and produce more to ensure food sufficiency.
The Executive Director noted that the Institute was focused on research that would elevate all agricultural value chains, and benefit the Nigerian populace in terms of food security and creation of employment for youths. On Biotechnologies, Prof. Ishaku in his speech indicated that the institute has covered lots of grounds in enhancing the genetic potentials of crops, adding that it released improved varieties to farmers to promote vast yields. Speaking further, he lauded the efforts of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) through its recently released Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), noting that the report would assist the institute in its blueprint on confronting the varying rainfall patterns and adopt the same for profitable cultivation.
The agency had warned farmers in the country to avoid planting after likely false-start rainfall expected in the year. Against this backdrop, Professor Ishaku said that the Institute would devise new technologies that would stem climate change realities, “Be it too much pattern of rainfall or shorter rainfall that will come with droughts or either ways” he said.