How root and tuber crops researches impact national food security, by NRCRI
The collaboration between the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umuahia, Abia State, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, seems to be recording immense contribution to national food security and sufficiency on a sustainable basis through research and extension activities on root and tuber crops.
This was made known, Wednesday, by the acting Executive Director of NRCRI, Dr. Godwin Asumugha, in his address while opening the institute’s two-day yearly research review and planning workshop with the theme, ‘up-scaling Research on Root and Tuber Crops for Enhanced Food Security and Economic Empowerment.’
Asumugha explained that the mandate of the NRCRI is to research into the genetic improvement of root and tuber crops, describing the theme as timely and apt to address the extant policy direction of government as encapsulated in the National Development Plan 2021-2925 and the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP) 2022-2927.
He noted that NATIP had shown commitment in deploying knowledge, technology, innovative and global best practices to integrally strengthen the economic diversification process by revamping research, training, access to inputs, technology and markets to revitalise agriculture production and processing in a manner that would create job opportunities and increase export revenue.
According to him, the NRCRI research results have led to significant increases in production, farm size, productivity, processing and utilisation of root and tuber crops in Nigeria.
He said: “NRCRI has facilitated rapid popularisation and spread of its research/developmental activities by trainings along the value chain for root and tuber crops, using the rural empowerment concept.
“Nigeria has continued to be ranked first in the world production of cassava, yam and cocoyam with total yearly productions of over 60, 40 and 4 million metric tonnes, respectively.”
The keynote Speaker and President, Agricultural Policy Research Network, Abuja, Dr. Anthony Onoja, called on researchers to tailor their research results in a way that end-users and policy makers can make sense out of them.
NRCRI further said: “Most research outputs or works are presented in a way that do not appeal to the policy makers and other end-users of the research and, thus, builds a big barrier between research and its uptake.”
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