Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria

Articles

Brief History


The Institute for Agricultural research (IAR), Samaru was established in 1922 as the research division of the Department of Agriculture for the then Northern Provinces of Nigeria. IAR was formally transferred by law to the newly established Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) on October 14, 1962. With the Federalization of the University in 1975, the IAR was established in accordance with statute 14 of the University. Since its establishment, IAR has been the bed-rock of crop research and improvement in the savanna region of Nigeria. IAR Samaru gave rise to National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI) and National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS).

The Institute has three substations at Kadawa, Kano and Talata Mafara. The Substations at Kadawa and Talata Mafara are located within large scale irrigation schemes, namely, the Hadejia-Jama’are River Basin and the Sokoto Rima River Basin respectively. They are used for research in irrigated agriculture. The Kano substation serves for research in sudan and sahel savanna ecologies.

Research at IAR is organized into Programs. Each research program team is headed by a Leader and the Committee which the Leader presides over is comprised of at least a plant breeder, an agronomist, a soil scientist, a crop protectionist, an agricultural engineer, an agricultural economist/rural sociologist and an extension specialist.

Key Mandates

With the re-organization of the National Agricultural Research Institutes in 1987, IAR was mandated to conduct research into:

a. genetic improvement of cowpea, cotton, groundnut, maize, sorghum, castor and sunflower
b. problems of production of all agricultural food crops grown in the north-west agricultural zone covering Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States

Particular problems to be addressed include:
i. crops agronomy including cultivation, planting and harvesting methods
ii. adaptation of introduced and improved cultivars
iii. development and testing of pests and disease control measures
iv. farming systems including integration of livestock, tree crops and agroforestry into production systems
v. socio-economic problems of agricultural production
vi. soil management including problems of soil structure, soil fertility and soil stabilization
vii. irrigated crops production
viii. simple preservation, storage and processing in the rural settings
ix. design and fabrication of simple agricultural implements and equipment

The Institute shall also:
c. carry out agricultural extension research liaison with relevant Federal and State Ministries, primary agricultural producers, industries and any other users of research results.
d. organize technical and vocational courses in agricultural crop production and related fields
e. provide laboratory and other technical services to farmers, agro-based industries and others in need of these services
f. collaborate with other relevant Research Institutes and organizations in carrying out its mandate.

Key Achievments

The development of new crop varieties and improved cultural practices are important aspects of research aimed at improving production and utilization systems. Significant progress has been made in the development and release of high yielding, disease and pest resistant varieties with good quality and adaptation as well as acceptability to consumers. For rapid agricultural development to take place, local inputs such as technology generated on continuous basis through research and development activities, among others, must be ensured and be made to serve as catalysts.

a. Cultural Operations Technologies
IAR, Samaru has over the years introduced, breed, tested, selected and formally released for production numerous improved crop varieties to which are attached appropriate production packages including proper preparation of seedbed, seed treatment, seeding rate, sowing date, fertilizer use and manuring, pest, disease and weed control, harvesting, processing and storage.

b. Crop-based Technologies
The Code and descriptor list of crop varieties released by IAR, Samaru contains a comprehensive list of crop varieties developed by the Institute prior to 1987. Since then, other improved varieties of cotton, groundnut, maize, cowpea and sorghum have been developed.

Some of the most important crop-based technologies of IAR Samaru are:

1. Cowpea - nine varieties of cowpea for different ecologies have been developed and released for production. The most popular are SAMPEA 6 and SAMPEA 7 with yield potential of 2.5t/ha and resistance to many stress factors. SAMPEA 6 is one of the parents of the American black eye beans. Two new varieties SAMPEA 8 and SAMPEA 9 are currently under consideration by the National Committee on Registration and Release of crop varieties and Livestock Breeds. SAMPEA 8 is extra-early in maturity while SAMPEA 9 is dual purpose (high grain and fodder yields). Many of the cowpeas eaten in most of Nigerian households are our products.

2. Cotton - thirteen cotton varieties have been developed and released to cotton farmers in Nigeria. SAMCOT 11, SAMCOT 12 and SAMCOT 13 are the latest varieties released. They are long staple and resistant to alternaria leaf spots and bacterial blight. Our cotton varieties supply raw materials to the numerous textile industries and oil mills across the country. The new long staple varieties can be used as substitute to imported long staple fibres thereby conserving our foreign exchange.

3. Groundnut - twenty-two varieties have been developed in collaboration with ICRISAT and released to farmers in different ecologies. The most popular ones are the rosette and drought resistant varieties. The latest released are the extra-early and the dual purpose types. Our groundnut supply most of the cooking oil used in Nigeria households as well as supply of cake to livestock feed industries.

4. Maize - fourteen maize varieties have been released to farmers in different ecological zones. Of the newly released varieties, SAMMAZ 11 is Striga hermonthica resistant while SAMMAZ 12 and SAMMAZ13, are extra-early white and yellow grains respectively. SAMMAZ 14 is quality protein maize. It has higher levels of lysine and tryptophan, the two limiting essential amino acids in maize. A lot of the maize consumed in every house in Nigeria in one form or the other is a product of IAR in collaboration with IITA and other national research institutes. Maize is indispensable in the attainment of national food security and as a raw material in many agro-based industries.

5. Sorghum - forty-five different sorghum varieties suitable for Kano, Samaru and Mokwa ecologies, have been developed in collaboration with ICRISAT and released. Among the most important ones are SAMSORG 17 and SAMSORG 40 which are suitable for malt production. Nigerian breweries have since been using these varieties as substitute to barley. The bulk of foreign exchange needed to import barley is therefore conserved.

6. Other crops - prior to the 1987 reorganization of National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs), IAR Samaru had recorded significant achievements in other crops including millet in collaboration with ICRISAT (7 varieties), wheat (8 varieties), tomato (7 fresh market, 9 processing and 4 heat tolerant varieties), onions, pepper, grape vine and kenaf varieties.

c. Agricultural Mechanization Technologies

Manually Operated Machines
Equipment Function Capacity
Hand Maize Sheller Shelling of Maize 15kg/hr.
G/Nut Decorticator Shelling of Groundnut 120kg/hr.
G/Nut Oil Extractor Extraction of Oil 5l/hr.
Portable Solar Dryer Drying of Vegetable 20kg
Hand grinder Grinding of Produce 10kg/hr.
Charcoal Stove Cooking -
Bellow Pump Irrigation -
Milk Churner Churning of Milk 40l/hr.
Sunflower Thresher Shelling of Sunflower 30kg/hr.
Metal Cooking Stand Cooking -
Bambaranut Decorticator Shelling of Bambaranut 120kg/hr.

Engine Operated Machines
Equipment Function Capacity
Maize Sheller Dehusker Dehusking and shelling of Maize 500kg/hr.
Groundnut Sheller Shelling of groundnut 200kg/hr
Cowpea Sheller Shelling of beans 150kg/hr
Sorghum Thresher Threshing of sorghum 230kg/hr
Cowpea Thresher Threshing of beans 70kg/hr
Multicrop Thresher Threshing of sorghum, millet and wheat. 280,79 & 80kg/hr respectively
Millet Thresher Threshing of millet 60kg/hr.
Soybean Thresher Threshing of soybean 120kg/hr
Vegetable/wet grain grinder Grinding of vegetables and wet grains 60kg/hr
Multi-purpose grinder Grinding vegetables and grains 100kg/hr
Bambaranut Sheller Shelling of bambaranut 200kg/hr.
Sugarcane Juice extractor Extraction of juice from sugarcane 60l/hr
Groundnut Oil Extractor Extraction of Oil from Groundnut 40l/hr

Animal Drawn Equipment
Equipment Function Capacity
Emcot Rotary Weeder Weeding 0.2ha/hr
Staddle Row Weeder Weeding 0.2ha/hr
Single Row Planter Planting 0.3ha/hr
Tie Ridger Water conservation 0.3ha/hr
Transportation Cart (2 wheeled) Transportation 700kg
Transportation Cart (Donkey Driven) Transportation 2000kg
Spike tooth harrow Harrowing 0.3ha/hr
Groundnut lifter Harvesting of G/nut 1.0ha/hr
Controlled droplet applicator Spraying of Chemicals 0.5ha/hr
2 Row planter Planting 0.45ha/hr

Post Harvest Food Loss Prevention Prototypes
Equipment Function Capacity
Onion Storage rack Storage of Onion 300kg
Harmetic/storage in Rumbu Storage of Crops -
Medium Scale Solar Dryer Drying of vegetables 60kg

Miscellaneous Equipment
Equipment Function Capacity
Bicycle Cart Transportation 100kg
Bicycle Grinder Grinding 5kg/hr
Bird Scarer Control of birds 100 meter radius

d. Food Technologies
The following are our commercializable research findings:
Composite flour technology including sorghum , maize, millet and cassava composite flour technologies for bread, cakes, biscuits, cookies, etc.
Zobo drink, Zobo jam and zobo concentrate.

The impacts of the above achievements include:
• Increased productivity
• Improved food security
• Improved livelihood
• Foreign exchange earning
• Saving from reduced imports
• Reduced drudgery
• New recipes
• Improved storage and shelf life
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