The federal government is set to partner with Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria as part its drive to diversify the economy through agriculture.
The permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Evelyn Ingige dropped the hint at Screenhouse and Field organise by the institutes designed to showcase its researches at the weekend.
She said crop development was very critical to the development of agricultural sector and food security, poverty eradication, Job creation and economic growth.
Dr Ingige represented by one of Directors in the Ministry, Mr Eremiya Kaura pointed out that to achieve that objective, the federal government has mandated the ministry to imitate and formulate policies and programmes for Agric-Commodity value chain development and export promotion through commodities and export department of the ministry.
The Permanent Secretary said, “As a ministry responsible for trade and Investment in all Sectors of the economy, the Department is responsible for developing policies which would raise the status of non-oil commodities and other products as major revenue earners for the Country to ensure their competitiveness at the domestic and international markets.
“To achieve the ministry forges partnership, synergy and collaboration with reputable public and private sector institutions as IAR involved in the development of Agricultural Commodities.
Dr Ingige therefore hailed the Institute for its giant stride in its Agricultural Research activities.
In his remarks the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Kabir Bala said the Institute as the oldest agricultural research body had since its establishment released many researches within its mandate which were tested and benefited by farmers.
He hailed his predecessor for their laudable effort in supporting the Institute to become what it was now.
However, Professor Bala decried neglect of agricultural sector some as a result of oil boom.