NIHORT distributes seeds, pesticides to ADPs, others
The National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan, Oyo State, has distributed Okro seeds and pesticides patented and produced by the institute to Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs) and non-governmental organisations representatives’ from Oyo, Osun and Ogun states.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Dr Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar, who distributed the inputs, during a working visit to the institute, said the ministry will embark on dry season farming from this month, as part of plans to make sure the country does not experience food shortage.
Abubakar said: “We have no shortage of food right now. We have food in the country, I am telling you categorically, and we will make sure there is no shortage of food. We are doing so much; we are going to start dry season farming this month and we plan to intensify that.
“Mr. President is very supportive of this ministry. We all know when he came in, Agric shot up and is the number one sector making a significant Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution to the country.”
The minister assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would continue to increase the capacity of research institutes while expressing joy at the new products created at the institute.
“Agriculture today is all about research, innovation and science. In agriculture, as a whole, we are talking about practising smart agriculture, and technology-based digital agriculture. All research institutes have so much to offer, especially NIHORT. I am impressed with the array of products this institute is producing.
“Just now, I saw an orange tree that will produce three different oranges on one tree, this is amazing and incredible. I am happy that I came here. We just got a waiver to employ more researchers, developers and people of science origin that would help to boost research and development,” he said.
The Executive Director of NIHORT, Dr. Muhammed Attanda, described the initiative as an annual ritual, which they regularly observe to hear from farmers about the seeds produced by the institute.
“It is an annual ritual undertaken by the institute. It is called pair review; we undertake this in the agricultural research system so that we can hear from them. If these seeds are good, they will come back here next year and tell us in black and white,” he said.
The Chairman of the Agricultural Development Farmers’ Association, Oyo State, Alhaji Salihu Imam, who lauded the institute’s gesture, said “NIHORT is the only institute that provides farmers with free fields ranging from 30 to 40 hectares to plant their mandate crops.”