Thursday 21 June 2018


You may not have heard much about the importance of research in agriculture in this country. Yet, more than 70 per cent of Nigerians eke out their living from farming. For most of the farmers, they do not care about the type of seedlings that they are using. They do not know whether or not the type of seedlings they are planting is hybrid, or disease resistant or whether it will yield more per hectare of land.

The colonial government set up some agriculture research centres in Nigeria but because most of Nigerian farmers were and are still peasant farmers, they did not actually know the importance of agricultural research until recently. Even today, only an insignificant percentage of our farmers know the importance of research in agricultural practices.

In the last few years, rice farming has taken the nation by storm. But, among the problems militating against rice farming are inadequacy of improved and high yield seeds, poor adoption of recommended practices by rice farmers, resulting in a production of not more than two tonnes per hectare as against four tonnes per hectare as recommended by the National Cereal Research Institute, Badegi.

Hmmm!!! Folks, let us say the truth and shame the devil. Many Nigerian non-oil products exporters have been defrauded of huge amount of money in the process of exporting agricultural commodities and solid minerals to foreign countries. Do you know why? They were not trained on export operations, management, documentations and the best methods of payment in export trade. This is terrible!!! Nigerians cannot continue to lose money to foreigners in the course of export business. Exporters, would you like to keep on being scammed? Why don’t you get a practical manual that explains the stages of export trade from processing and packaging of commodities to receipt of payment by the foreign buyers? It explains export operations, export management, export documentations and methods of payment in export trade? Yes, it is a contemporary step-by-step guide to export trade. It tells all the contemporary dynamics in export trade. To get it, click on the link below:

You may not know that the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI) is the oldest Research Institute in Nigeria. It was founded by the Lagos Colonial Protectorate Administration of Governor Alfred Moloney in 1898.  In 1915, it was renamed as Federal Agricultural Station by the Lugard Administration. In 1945, it metamorphosed into Federal Department of Agricultural Research and was given a mandate to carry out research on all agricultural crops and farming systems throughout Nigeria.

In 1975, by Decree 13 of that year, the Federal Government changed its name to National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI) and was given the mandate to conduct research into the genetic improvement and production of the major stable grains like rice, maize, cowpea and sugarcane. 

Again, with the re-organisation of the agricultural research system in 1987, NCR’s new mandate crops were Rice, Soybean, Beniseed, Sugarcane, and the farming system in the Middle belt Zone comprising of Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Today, NCRI conducts research in 10 outstations located in Ibadan, (Oyo State), Amakama-olokoro (Abia State), Uyo Ubo-ukuku (Akwa-Ibom State), Warri (Delta State), Bacita (Kwara State), Mokwa (Niger State), Birnin Kebbi (Kebbi State), Numan (Adamawa State), Yandev (Benue State) and Riyom (Plateau State). It also conducts on-farm adaptive trials’ multi locations, particularly in the central zone. This is to ensure that its results are applicable in the different ecological zones in the country.

NCRI is mandated to conduct research into the genetic improvement of rice, soybean, beniseed (otherwise called sesame seed), acha, castor and sugarcane as well as overall farming systems, resource management research and extension in the Middle Belt Zone of Nigeria, comprising Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. 

Among the research mandates of NCRI are: research into the improvement of rice, acha, soybean, beniseed (sesame seed), castor, sugarcane and brown sugar production techniques; research into improvement of farming systems and extension, planning, monitoring and evaluation, breeder and foundation seeds/sets production and dissemination of research results and special projects.

So far, NCRI has not done badly in meeting its research mandates. For example, it has developed six industrial cane varieties and has released them to sugar industries and local sugar processors. It has also developed a technology for brown sugar processing, which is now being used by brown sugar processors at Kona-Mada in FCT, Sara in Jigawa State and Gbajigi in Niger State.

It would surprise many Nigerians that most of the varieties of rice being planted in the country today were developed by NCRI.  In fact, as at today, NCRI has about 57 improved rice varieties, which most farmers in the country are planting. The improved varieties of rice have enabled farmers to increase their farm yields and also to increase their income from rice farming.

In addition, NCRI has developed improved rice processing technology. The improved technology is currently being used by big local entrepreneurs in rice farming such as Obasanjo farms and multinationals like AGIP, thus giving them improved quality of processed rice.

The research has also developed eight improved high yield soybean varieties which are now being used by farmers across the country. This has led to increased farmers yield and more income to them. (ThePoint)

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