The Director of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, Oyo State, Prof. Veronica Obatolu, has reiterated the institute’s commitment to achieving food security in the country.
Obatolu said this during a seminar tagged: “A Paradigm Shift in IAR&T’s Agriculture for Food and Nutrition Security,” organised to brief staff on the institute’s new research focus.
According to her, over one million Nigerians are dying yearly due to hidden hunger, due to lack of micronutrients, such as zinc in their daily diets.
“Our focus now should be on the efficiency and effectiveness of technology and also to have innovative thinking to address institutional barriers to technology change,” she said.
Obatolu said the institute would continue to strive to secure safe and adequate food for the growing population and provide the necessary technology for environmental sustainability.
She called on the Federal Government to do everything within its means to tackle hunger, through sustainable its various agricultural policies and programs.
“Health comes from the farm and not from the pharmacy. Agriculture has its important role in fighting malnutrition; our soil and the fertilizer strategy must enhance human nutrition and food security,” the director said.
Also speaking, Prof.Funso Sonaiya of the Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, urged researchers in agricultural research institutes to come together and find a solution to the problem of hunger currently facing Nigerians.
Sonaiya said the researchers were key to any innovation and development in any area, saying rather than making excuses; they should join hands together and provide the needed innovation.
Prof Akinloye Farinde from Agricultural Extension Department of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile -Ife also admonished researchers to come out with research ideas capable of solving smallholders’ farmer’s challenges.
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