The Federal Government, through the federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has organized a five-day training program on how to access grants among 50 selected agricultural research officers across the country.
Speaking at the opening of the five-day training program held at Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute (ARMTI), Jimba-Oja, Kwara State on Wednesday, the Executive Director, ARMTI, Ilorin, Dr. Olufemi Oladunni, said that the participants were selected from research institutes and Colleges of Agriculture across the country.
Dr. Oladunni, who said that the importance of research in the advancement of knowledge and developmental strides of both private and public institutions cannot be over-emphasized, added that accessing funds to carry out research, especially in developing countries, is an uphill task.
The ARMTI boss, who urged the participants to make adequate use of the knowledge at the training, said that “there can never be too much knowledge but there can be too little of it.”
Declaring the training open, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq Kwara State, described agriculture as the bedrock of the economic growth of the nation and stressed the importance of writing award-winning and acceptable grant proposals.
Speaking through his Technical Assistant on Agriculture, Alhaji AbdulQuawiyy Olododo, Governor AbdulRazaq said it has become imperative to consciously train agricultural research officers on best practices of writing acceptable grant proposals.
The governor also said that government alone cannot adequately shoulder the responsibility of the agricultural funding, adding that the state government is ready to partner with institutes and agencies to make the people of the state enjoy the dividends of democracy.
Earlier in his keynote address, Professor Raphael Babatunde disclosed that; “Fund for demand-driven and applied agricultural research are becoming increasingly limited and very competitive.”
He stated that this is because traditional donors are now faced with a more alternative investment portfolio. He said recession, as well as economic stagnation in many countries, have also limited the space for expanding resources on agricultural research and related R&D programs.
According to him, this has resulted in the rejection of many hitherto good research grant proposals and the acceptance of very few exceptionally good ones.
Professor Babatunde described the training as important and very timely pointing out that during the course of the training participants will be exposed to different modules, such as the Science and Art of Grant proposal writing, identification of community need using the scientific method, data collection, and analysis techniques, preparation of budget and timeline for a grant application, tips for successful grant application as well as report writing and presentation with practical and real-life examples.
Professor Babatunde added that at the end of the training, participants would master the skills of writing award-winning research grant proposals and be able to execute the research according to the research proposal.
He, therefore, charged the participants to spread the knowledge gained during the training and put it into practice in their various offices.
In his welcome address, the Managing Director, Synergy Impact Consultants Limited, Mr. David Babalola said the training is geared towards finding a lasting solution to the challenges of inadequate funding of agricultural research in the country.
Mr. Babalola noted that outputs from agricultural research centers have contributed significantly to improvements in agricultural productivity, reduction in post-harvest loss, and overall value addition to agricultural produce.
He said the workshop is geared towards finding a lasting solution to the challenge of inadequate funding of agricultural research in the country.
“We are all aware of the current economic realities in the country and the fact that subventions from the government are grossly inadequate to fund all the required research projects in the sector.
Hence, the need for stakeholders in the sub-sector to seek intervention and support from donor agencies (within and without the country) for the good of all and sundry.