The Institute’s 50th Anniversary activities continued on Wednessday, 10th April, 2019 with the anniversary lecture delivered by Prof. E. A. Adebowale and Prof. Arokoyo. The Occasion began with the rendition of both stanzas of the National Anthem and the Institute’s anthem. The Director of the Institute, Prof. James A. Adediran, while giving his welcome address, thanked everyone in attendance for making it a date with IAR&T. He then highlighted other activities lined up for the anniversary.
The Chairman of the Occasion, Mr. Sufyan Oroma (Country representative of the FAO) represented by Mr. Ahmed Matane, the Deputy Country Representative, gave the opening speech. He gave an overview of FAO’s presence in Nigeria since 1948 and stressed that IAR&T is one Institute whose impact the FAO has felt. In addition FAO is indeed very happy and feel great to be the Chairman of the occasion.
Prof. Adebowale’s lecture started with the history of IAR&T including her metamorphosis from Ministry of Agriculture to an Academic Institution. Highlights of the lecture include:
i) Having being a former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of a University Governing Council for almost 9 years (the longest in the Nation’s history), 4 years as a visiting Professor to the National University Commission (NUC) and another 2 years as visiting Director to Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), I can confidently affirm that IAR&T’s Agricultural Research technology output is eminently impactful and primus inter pares.
ii). Farming packages available at IAR&T are more lucrative than riding motor bikes (okada in local parlance).
iii). IAR&T has successfully trained farmers from more than 26 nations of the globe.
It was suggested that
1) The Institute’s research focus should now be economy-driven i.e. research that generates wealth and prosperity for the people.
2) Major soils in many states of the federation not yet identified should be identified, characterised and classified.
3) Partnership with the iundustry to patent many of our landmark breakthroughs/achievements.
4) Fund should be generated through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
5) Management should be coordinated and united so as to ensure industrial harmony.
6) The Federal Colleges (in Ibadan) and the Institute should close ranks.
7) Office and Laboratory accommodation should be upgraded.
8) Acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment should be prioritised.
9) E-library library should be put in place.
10) Action should be expedited on Undergraduate Students’ Programme of OAU.
11) Election of Deputy Director should be patterned after that of the University DVCs.
The Second lecture delivered by Prof. Johnson Arokoyo focused on 30 years of REFILS and it highlighted the following:
1) Experience has clearly shown that sustainable agricultural development cannot be achieved without strong and sustained linkages among researchers, extension personnel, farmers and the private sector (input supply, financing and marketing).
2) REFILS is basically a platform to bring together all the key stakeholders in agricultural development (researchers, extension personnel, farmers, policy makers and the private sector for the effective management of research and extension delivery for sustainable agricultural development.
3) National Agricultural Research Project (NARP) brought the Universities formally into REFILS
4). Key REFILS activities include:
- Diagnostic surveys
- Planning on-farm research (In-house Reviews)
- On-farm applied research (Researcher-managed)
- On-farm adaptive research (Farmer-managed) ADP OFAR
- Annual zonal workshops
- Monthly Technology Review Meeting (MTRM)
- Fortnightly training Sessions (FNTs)
- Farmer training (SPAT/MTPs) Mass Media
- Zonal Steering Committee Meetings
- Zonal Technical Coordination Meeting
- Annual National Extension Review and Planning Meeting (NAERLS/PCU/ASD)
5). The performance of the REFILS I the zone under the IAR&T was adjudged “good.”
6). Recommendation for resuscitating and sustaining REFILS.
- Pluralistic Funding by the Federal, State and LGAs on an agreed Formula (Ref. Nat. Agricultural Extension Policy provisions of Commitment & Funding).
- Key stakeholder operatives (NARIS, FDAE, ARCN & ADPS) must have budget line for REFILS activities.
- Significantly improve Private Sector participation.
- Redefinition and clarification of the roles and responsibilities of ALL stakeholders.
- Establish a National REFILS Steering Committee and remove non-critical REFILS activities (eg Zonal Technical Steering Committee Meetings etc).
The event was rounded up with goodwill messages from a former Director of the Institute, Prof. B. Adelana, Prof. Peter Oyekan, a former Deputy Director, Prof. A. M. Daramola, Dr. Obajimi among others.
The events can also be followed @iartnigeria’s tweet handler: https://twitter.com/iartnigeria/status/1115648419513679873?s=08 or facebook account https://www.facebook.com/iartnigeria/ or instagram @ https://www.instagram.com/iartnigeria/p/