The Executive Director of the National Cereals Research Institute, NCRI, Badeggi, Dr. Aliyu Umar has called on Nigerian civil servants to use their non-official hours and other periods to engage in farming activities in order to be protected against the prevailing economic hardship occasioned by conditions such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
He disclosed that the laws of the federation only frown at public servants engaging in all other businesses other than productively engaging in any of the farming value chain.
Dr. Aliyu Umar made the charge on Friday in Bacita, Edu Local Government Area of Kwara while addressing staff members of the Institute who are working at the Bacita Outstation of the Agricultural Research Institute.
Umar explained that rather than penalize such workers as being thought in some quarters, the government would be more than willing to support its workers who engage in farming through several intervention schemes.
The ED stated that the Institute has begun the use of 21st century inclined research methodologies such as Biotechnology, genetic engineering and molecular biology in order to fast track the timeline for the development of improved technologies necessary to support Nigerian farmers.
While welcoming the Executive Director to Kwara state, the Head of the Bacita Outstation of the Institute, Mr Mumeen A. Yusuf, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for assisting Nigerian farmers with the appointment of Dr Umar, whom he said has used his office to transform the fate of most Nigerian farmers especially within the rice value chain for better since his appointment in 2018.
This, Yusuf said was made possible through the enabling environment created for agricultural research scientists and other stakeholders since Umar’s assumption of leadership of the first agricultural research institute in Nigeria.
The National Cereals Research Institute Badeggi is the agency of the Federal Government responsible for the development of rice, soybean and four other mandate crops.