Research funding mechanisms
It is desired that the ARCN plays its statutory role of fund allocation for agricultural research, training and extension, based on performance, as enshrined in its function under the ARCN Act. It is however acknowledged that as a service-wide policy, funds are released to the various research institutes and FCAs directly.
Therefore to give effect to the provisions of Section 5 (a-d), there should be an agreed mechanism duly approved and supported by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development with regard to fund allocations. Therefore, research, training and extension should be funded through budget allocations made to appropriate agencies on the recommendation of the Council.
Criteria for funding will be based on current procedures and processes until such time as a review is completed and recommendations adopted by the Council and approved by the Honourable Minister and perhaps the Federal Executive Council.
Implementation of the Strategic Plan requires organisational and institutional changes which will be developed, described and budgeted for in detail as well as deliberately managed. It includes significant skills development for current and new staff who will be closely involved in implementation.
There will be a period [2-3 years] of special support to the management of the change process required to move ARCN from its current state to a new position. This will then allow it to meet its commitments to the Strategic and Operational Plans. It will be fully integrated into the first 2-3 years of the Operational Plan and cover the full range of change and related issues; it will catalyse implementation and is a necessary condition for success and provide support and mentoring to these changes.
A temporary Change Management Team will be constituted and will be reporting directly to the Executive Secretary; this Team will act with his/her full authority. It will possess a wide range of support skills and fully involve key ARCN staff members and others recognised as being in full support of the changes required to make implementation effective [Champions of Change].
The overall objective of the change management is to facilitate and support ARCN in the implementation of its Strategic Plan and deliver on the commitment made to its stakeholders.
ARCN Strategic Plan
The ARCN Strategic Plan 2011-2020 is a forward-looking plan premised on the belief that alignment with CAADP and the MDG is necessary, although not sufficient, to address the Country’s aim for growth, food security and the elimination of poverty.
In developing the plan, the vision of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was taken into account to make agriculture the engine of socioÃ‚Â¬economic growth and development using a two-pronged approach of promoting food security and poverty alleviation through private sector development and growth. The Plan was developed with full consideration, and in the context, of the CAADP and its accompanying FAAP. As a member of CORAF /WECARD, the ARCN Plan is also deliberately nested within the sub-regional Strategic Plan, and is modeled on it; it tokes full consideration of Nigeria’s specific needs and unique geographic, socio-economic and political environment.
This Strategic Plan will revitalise agricultural research so that it will toke its rightful place in the agricultural development of Nigeria. It recognises the role of agriculture in poverty reduction and wealth creation in a country where most of the work force is in agriculture. The Plan, therefore, places emphasis on productivity increases and linkage to markets to provide incentives for new innovations in agriculture. For the Plan to achieve its objective there must be sustained strong Government commitment so that all ARCN Institutes and Colleges will be sufficiently resourced to carry out their mandates.