The Federal Government has been urged to produce sustainable agricultural policies and programmes that will help the nation tackle hunger and ill-health in the country.
The Executive Director of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, Professor Veronica Obatolu gave the charge while speaking at a seminar organized for staff of the institute on Thursday.
The seminar was tagged “A Paradigm Shift in IAR$T’s Agriculture for Food and Nutrition Security.”
She regretted that a lot of Nigerians were dying annually due to “hidden hunger and lack of micro elements in their daily diets”. According to her, every Nigerian has the right to adequate food, both in quality and in quantity, to satisfy his/her dietary needs.
“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”, she stressed.
While reiterating the commitment of IAR&T to agric research, Obatolu promised that the institute would continue to strive to engender safe and adequate food for the growing population of Nigerians and provide the necessary technology for environmental sustainability.
“Our focus should be on the efficiency and effectiveness of technology and also to have innovative thinking to address institutional barriers to technology change,” she told staff of the institute.
Also speaking at the event, Professor Funso Sonaiya of the Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, urged researchers in agricultural research institutes to collaborate in finding innovative solutions to the problem of hunger in the country instead of giving excuses.
Professor Akinloye Farinde from Agricultural Extension Department in OAU also admonished Nigerian researchers to come out with ideas capable of solving problems being faced by smallholder farmers.