By G9ija

The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) has established a Communication Centre to improve food production and ensure reduction in cost of food across the country.

Prof. Garba. Sharubutu, Executive Secretary (ES) of ARCN, disclosed this during the commissioning of the Centre and the foundation-laying ceremony of a new administrative building on Monday in Abuja.

He said that the centre comprises the museum/documentation unit, e-library, radio and television stations and all the requisite facilities for a smooth take off.

Sharubutu who frowned at the rate of production loses and post-loses faced by farmers across the country, attributed the challenge to the lack of adequate information on how to prevent such occurrence.

According to him, availability of the communication facility will aid farmers on how to guide against such challenges and boost production.

The ES decried the difficulties farmers experienced in the past to have access to agricultural information that would help towards keeping them abreast with latest information and technology to boost their production.

He specifically noted that the stations available to agricultural research institutes are either the national radio or commercial radio stations that only avail them few seconds and cost effective.

According to him, this few seconds is not enough for us to explain to the farmers at the grassroots.

“At the moment, there is this notion that we are conducting research and the people do not know what we are doing in terms of innovations.

“The implication of this radio is that there will be more time, there will be a platform for questions and answers and this institution will be able to bring solutions to the door steps.

“With this development, there will be improved productivity, and with improved productivity you find out that even the prices of food stuff will go down.

“Before now, agricultural research system had always relied on either the national radio or commercial radio stations and most of this national radio stations are self sustaining because they are to seek funding for every programme we air.

“By the time we computed from all the agricultural research institutes and put up what is necessary to agriculture and get the message to the people we find out that tactically itself promote agricultural radio and television

“Secondly, even if we pay you find out that the slot that is giving to each of the agricultural research institute will not  allow us express ourselves for the farmers to actually appreciate what we are doing’’.

Plateau Governor,  Simon Lalong, described the commissioning as a historic event that fits into President Muhammadu Buhari`s vision to make agriculture the mainstay of the economy.

He says “commissioning of the edifice is a revelation that life is coming to our farmers and darkness will soon depart from our agricultural sector.

“The significant cannot be overemphasised as is one of the major setbacks in the progress of Nigeria’s agricultural sector. Little wonder, therefore, our farmers still practice distance farming using the hoe and cutlass in spite global scientific farming.

“Our inability to give research proper attention and time and induce our capacity to go into large-scale farming and deploy modern technology, make many of our farming to still lack access to improve seedlings and hold unto old farming practices,’’