The executive director of the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Mohammad Ishiyaku, has tasked researchers in the institute to focus on research geared toward solving farmers’ and human problems instead of researching publishing academic papers.
Speaking during the 54th annual review of the institute’s irrigation research programme held in the institute’s campus in Samaru, Zaria, he stressed the need for scientists to change their orientation from embarking on research that has no direct bearing on the farmers who are their primary clientele and beneficiaries of such research results.
He urged them to focus on research for academic journals to earn promotions without impacting the society and asked for concerted efforts towards improving farmers’ lot as their primary goal.
A newsletter by the institute’s publication and information unit said the university don reiterated that the institute is the only one in Nigeria with a national mandate for research in science and irrigation engineering. The institute is responsible for ensuring that irrigated agriculture earns its priority of place for year-round food production.
He stated that the reality of climate change calls for irrigated over rainfed agriculture, therefore, scientists must redouble their efforts to present tangible results to the public on the agronomy, physics and chemistry of effective soil management resources for adoption by the public.
“The public is interested in solutions we provide for their interest. We must, therefore, come up with sustainable soil and water management practices and protocols that will mitigate their challenges,” he opined.
Ishiyaku appreciated the overwhelming support and cooperation of the institute’s staff members whose cooperation culminated in the recent award for Excellence in Research Results to the institute. He called for sustained team spirit and readiness for more challenges as the public approaches the institute in droves for solutions to their farming problems.
Earlier, the programme leader of the institute’s irrigation research department, Dr Habu Kura, presented progress highlights from prioritized projects embarked upon by the programme to the review committee.