By Bayo Agboola Ibadan
Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday advised the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan, to commercialise the results of its research in order to promote universal application. Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, gave the advice at the 50th anniversary celebration of IITA in Ibadan. Th e acting president, who commended IITA over its initiatives, said research was not enough if it was not marketed for universal application.
“In a society where the vast majority of farmers is smallholders and not educated, more needs to be done by making research work available for them to understand how it is used. “You have to commercialise the result of your research and create subsidiaries as it is done in India. Th ese companies can then multiply your fi ndings and market them for larger application. Government would provide necessary legal instrument to enable the institute achieve this,’’ he said. According to him, doing this would not only make the institute expand its research initiatives, but also assist to increase its earnings.
“Having come this far in one half of a century, we have cause to rely on you and task you to join us in dealing with new challenges. Th e fi rst and urgent is that of population; at over three per cent growth per-annum, we are reportedly heading for 450 million persons by year 2050. Earlier, the Chairman of the organising committee, Kwesi Attah-Krah, said the Institute was preparing for the future by addressing food security in Africa. Atta-Krah said Africa could not achieve food security without addressing the issue of unemployment. Th is, he said, informed the institute’s Youth Entrepreneur initiative for graduates to promote self-employment. Also speaking, a former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, commended IITA over its laudable initiatives in Africa and Nigeria in particular