The Federal Government has commenced the process of moving the Universities of Agriculture away from the Federal Ministry of Education (FMOE), to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD).
In addition, it is also seeking the amendment of the Act establishing the Universities of Agriculture in the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief, Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this in Abuja that a committee has been constituted to look at the act establishing the Universities of Agriculture.
In the process of a shift within the ministries, Ogbeh emphasized that the committee should ensure they are properly moved to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture without any conflict with the Federal Ministry of Education.
Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike in Abia State; Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, and the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi are the three Universities in focus.
In the meeting with Vice Chancellors and Pro-chancellors of the Universities, Ogbeh reiterated that the Federal Government is taking the step to adjust the laws to ensure the Universities of Agriculture focus on solving industry needs through innovation driven research.
He added that the Federal Government would love to increase the number of the Universities to 15, once it finishes the process moving the Universities to the Federal Ministries of Agriculture.
“India has 87 Universities of Agriculture and you know they are exporting rice to us. Brazil has 70 Universities of Agriculture and they are exporting rice to us,” said Ogbeh.
Moreover, the Federal Government is already getting interested from research institutes in Europe and America to assist Nigeria’s Agricultural universities to grow their research methodology.