We’re ready to solve farmers problems in Nigeria,say Plateau varsity ,NRCRI
Written by News Desk on September 28, 2023
By James Abraham
The National Root Crop Research Institute and the Plateau state University have assured farmers in Nigeria of their readiness to assist them in proffering solutions to the problems facing them in the country
The two research institutions stated this during the 2023 Green Field Day event on the promotion of new Biotech Potato Resistant to Late Blight which held at the Plateau State University , Bokkos on Saturday.
The development of the new biotech potato by the research institutions under the Feed the Future Biotech Potato Partnership Project Nigeria is coming after several years of clinical research on how to address the problem of outbreak of potato late blight disease in the country.
Jay FM reports that the last outbreak of potato late blight disease destroyed about 32,000 hectares of potato in Plateau state in 2022.
The development had prompted the Federal Government to give a marching order to The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria and the National Root Crops Research Institute NRCRI Umudike to find a lasting solution to the devastating impact of the disease on the livelihoods and food security of small farmers and rural communities in the country
Speaking at the Green Field Day event in Bokkos which attracted several farmers and other stakeholders who gathered to witness the open demonstration of the new biotech potato resistant to late blight developed by the research institutions ,the Head of Station,Nation Root Crop Research Institute ,Dr Nwadili Christian noted that potato is a staple food for millions of Nigerians and a major source of income for farmers in the country
He insisted that the institute will spare no efforts aimed at improving the variety of food crops in the country including potato sector which he noted faces a number of challenges particularly in the area of low productivity, inadequate access to market and more importantly, to pests and diseases.
“As a institute ,I am proud to say that we have been at the forefront of root and tuber crops research in Nigeria for many years. We have developed a good number of high-yielding, disease-resistant and farmer-preferred crop varieties that have helped to increase root and tuber crops production and expansion in Nigeria.
“This has consequently led to the improvement of livelihoods of farmers and Nigerians in general.
” This greenfield day is an important opportunity for us to come together to view our additional breakthrough and observe some BIOTECH POTATOes undergoing development. We need to find ways to increase potato productivity, make potato sector more resilient to pests and diseases.
“I believe that this greenfield day will be a valuable step towards achieving our shared goal of promoting potato improvement for national development.
The Vice Chancellor of the Plateau State University ,Prof Benard Matur assured Nigerian farmers of the institution’s commitment to address the challenges facing them.
Represented by the Dean ,Faculty of Agriculture,Dr Hosea Finangwai,the Vice Chancellor said ” We have a mandate to do many things .We want to localize our research work to address the immediate needs of Nigerians .Today,we are talking about agriculture. What are the major crops that have been prioritized in Plateau state ,starting from Bokkos where we are ,and moving to other parts of the country . What are the challenges and how do we solve the problem for the benefit of farmers ? As a university ,we will continue to collaborate with other partners to bring solution to the problem facing farmers and Nigerians in other sectors”