Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Executive Director of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, Prof. James Adediran, has said the institute has lived up to the expectations of its founding fathers as a centre of excellence in agricultural research since it was established 50 years ago.
Speaking on activities to herald the institute’s 50th anniversary, Adediran highlighted its achievements in the areas of soil, crop and livestock research, improved farming systems, among others.
“We then ask ourselves, have we done enough to showcase the reasons for our establishment and even celebrate at 50? I can confidently say yes, in that our breakthroughs in agricultural research are based on the level of resources available for our use. I am convinced that the IAR&T has lived up to expectation as a centre of excellence in agricultural research.”
The executive director added that the environment in which research is carried out has made the institute stronger and resilient to forge ahead and is looking forward to a vibrant future with greater achievements. He said the institute has experienced various stages of growth and has gone through different sets of reforms and transformation that require proper attention for celebration.
According to him, the institute has developed some proven technologies that have benefited millions of farm families in Nigeria, targeting resource poor farmers growing a wide range of agricultural commodities.
Highlighting the achievements of the institute, he said: “Some of them are soil research where we achieved production of soil and nutrient maps for farmers’ use; provision of guidelines for soil management techniques; development of fortified organic fertilizer and enriched composts through partiality aerated technique and within a highly reduced period of preparation.
Others he said are: “Crop research, where over 70 new varieties of maize, cowpea, soya bean and kenaf have been developed for high yielding and quality; improved cultural and processing techniques have been developed for our mandate crops including value addition.
“Livestock research, where provision of improved formulated feeds and housing for macro and micro livestock production. Improved animal reproduction through artificial insemination technique has been achieved.
“Improved farming systems techniques developed; REFILS coordination facilitated; numerous new and improved technologies promoted and disseminated. Over 1,200 trainings have been conducted for farmers and trainees, while new technologies have been disseminated to millions of farm families through electronic and print media. Cost-efficient sprinkler and self-propelled single row weeder fabricated,” Adediran said.