In line with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (FMARD’s) vision of ensuring access, availability and affordability of high-quality food to all Nigerians, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is undertaking research on agricultural mechanization in Nigeria under the Feed the Future (FtF) initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The FtF program expects to support the governments and technical agencies of some 20 “focus countries,” including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal and Nigeria in programs focused on:
- Production technology: R&D to enhance the availability of high- and optimum-yielding germplasm (seeds, varieties, and breeds), improved production practices, pest control, and soil and water management;
- irrigation and water-use improvement, such as rehabilitation and construction of new structures and wells;
- post-harvest technology, including primary processing, handling, drying, and storage; and
- agricultural extension (training and communication) on the above topics.
The workshop outlined the proposed research activities to be undertaken by IFPRI during 2011 through 2013 on the topic “Social Capital, Agricultural Productivity and Food Security in Nigeria.” The main objectives included:
- Sharing information on the proposed actionable research on irrigation and mechanization; and
- Soliciting constructive criticism and inputs from participants on the proposed research.
The workshop was attended by 43 participants consisting of government officials, agricultural economists, agricultural engineers, and research engineers from various universities and research institutes (Appendix C). It was held on Thursday, March 31, 2011 at the Albinus Hall of Immaculate Suites & Apartments, Wuse II, Abuja.
by Grace Adeogun and James Sackey