The Executive Director of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, Professor Veronica Obatolu on Thursday reiterated the institute’s commitment in achieving food sufficiency in the country.
Obatolu gave the assurance while speaking at a seminar organized for staff of the institute, tagged “A Paradigm Shift in IAR$T’s Agriculture for Food and Nutrition Security.”
Obatolu while speaking at the seminar on the new research focus held at the institute premises affirmed that millions of Nigerians are dying annually due to what she referred to as hidden hunger, lack of micro elements in their daily diets.
She insisted that every Nigerian has the right to adequate food, both in quality and in quantity, to satisfy his/her daily needs in terms of nutrients requirement.
According to her, every Nigerian has the right to adequate food, both in quality and in quantity, to satisfy his/her dietary needs.
Obatolu said, “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 said that the institute would continue to strive to secure safe and adequate food for the growing population óf Nigerians and provide the necessary technology for environmental sustainability.
She called on the federal government to do everything within its means to tackle hunger in the country through sustainable agricultural policies and programmes.
“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”.
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 come together to find 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.
Professor Akinloye Farinde from Agricultural Extension department in OAU also admonished researchers in Nigeria to come out with research ideas capable of solving small holders’ farmers problems.