Monday, July 4, 2022

FG Inaugurates C’ttee To Promote Quality, Standard Agric Products

SSG Perm sec FMARD
L-R: The the senior special assistant to the president on public sector matters, Mr. Francis Anatogu and the permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe during the meeting in Abuja.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has inaugurated the Implementation Committee for the Commercialisation of Agricultural Research Findings and Innovation, stating that it will promote quality and standard agricultural products and advocacy for global good agricultural practices (GAPs).

Abubakar stated that the initiative will facilitate the conformity assessment criteria for agro-commodity export towards ensuring zero rejection of agricultural produce with improved post-harvest management in the sector.        

Speaking during the inauguration ceremony held at the ministry in Abuja, the minister represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, said: “The development of the priority value chain already identified and captured in the AfCFTA and national implementation plan for the agricultural sector would ensure competitiveness in the market place, infrastructural development and technological innovations for energy-efficient systems for cottage processing, as well as general post-harvest management to achieve good agricultural practices.

Mahmood said the agriculture and agribusiness workstream coordinated by the National Action Committee (NAC) secretariat is interfacing with the ministry’s technical working group (TWG) and other working groups to coordinate the needed sectorial implementation imperatives in line with the vision and mission of the ministry for maximum benefit in the project. 

In his remarks, the senior special assistant to the president on public sector matters and secretary of the NAC, Mr. Francis Anatogu, stated that the inauguration of the committee is a clarion call for action to enable them to brace for the task, especially in enhancing the export potentials in the sector and promote competitiveness in Nigeria-made products.

Responding on behalf of the committee, the chairman and executive secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Garba Sharubutu, represented by the monitoring and evaluation specialist in the agency, Dr. Charles Ebojei, emphasized the need for a sensitisation workshop to create awareness on the modalities for patenting research innovations.

He assured that the committee would work assiduously towards achieving the set objectives. 

A statement by the ministry’s director of information signed by Mrs. Mabel Obe highlighted the terms of reference of the committee to include overseeing and ensuring the gathering and sharing of information on all aspects of agricultural research findings and innovation in Nigeria as it relates to the AFCFTA workstream on agriculture and agribusiness, develop a framework for ownership of inventions through patenting and reward system for intellectual properties, leveraging on interagency synergy with relevant MDAs to ensure replication of innovations; design a Monitoring and Evaluating framework for monitoring the progress of the established interrelationship among researchers, farmers and investors and carry out any other duties assigned by the minister. 

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