Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday advised the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA),Ibadan, to commercialise the results of its research in order to promote universal application.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, gave the advice at the 50th anniversary celebration of IITA in Ibadan.
The acting president, who commended IITA over its initiatives, said that research was not enough if it was not marketed for universal application.
“In a society where the vast majority of farmers are small-holders and not educated, more needs to be done by making research work available for them to understand how it is used.
“You have to commercialise the result of your research and create subsidiaries as it is done in India.
“These companies can then multiply your findings and market them for larger application.
“Government would provide necessary legal instrument to enable the institute achieve this,’’ Osinbajo said.
He said that doing this would not only make the institute expand its research initiatives but also assist to increase its earnings.
“Having come this far in one half of a century, we have cause to rely on you and task you to join us in dealing with new challenges.
“The first and urgent is that of population; at over three per cent growth per-annum, we are reportedly heading for 450 million persons by year 2050.
“This would place Nigeria in third place after China and India in a world of nine billion humans.
“It is now speculated that more children are born daily in Nigeria than the entire European Union and the question is on how do we feed.
“As we move on, we must reflect on the challenges of quality output,quality of consumption and to achieve this we urge you to engage in more research,’’ Osinbajo said.
Earlier, Dr Kwesi Atta-Krah, the Chairman of the organising committee for the anniversary, said the institute was preparing for the future by addressing food security in Africa.
Atta-Krah said that Africa could not achieve food security without addressing the issue of unemployment.
This, he said, informed the institute’s Youth Enterpreneur initiative for graduates to promote self employment.
Also speaking, a former Head of State, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, commended IITA over its laudable initiatives in Africa and Nigeria in particular.
It was reported that dignitaries at the occasion included a former Prime Minister of DR Congo, Matata Mapon, the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Chief Moses Adeyemo, a former President of IFAD, Dr Kenayo Nwaanze, and the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji.