The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), in partnership with the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), Brazil, have recommitted to strengthen agricultural transformation.

The agencies made the commitment at the first Agricultural Research and Innovation Fellowship for Africa (ARIFA) Symposium, held at Viçosa, Brazil.

Speaking at the ARIFA symposium in Brazil, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sunday Echono, said the fund is willing to collaborate with all the agencies involved to expand the programme beyond the agricultural sector.

Echono expressed gratitude to the Brazilian Government and the six participating universities, saying that he will ensure many people are sent to understudy what Brazil has accomplished in transforming their economy.

“I was particularly impressed that this is a self reliant society and we can see at various communities the visible marks the impact of research, agri-production and impact of university community in creating jobs and promoting innovations and providing goods and services for the immediate consumption.

“I believe it is a dream that you can also achieve in our country. I believe untill we make our educational institutions relevant to our national development objectives in our country we won’t optimize the objectives for tertiary education and that is why TETFund will be redoubling its efforts to see how we accelerate the process, expand the collaborations and deepen this partnership in years ahead,” he said.

Also speaking, executive director of FARA, Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, said the theory of change of ARIFA is to generate a new cohort of science-based change-makers in Agri business.

Akinbamijo said it cannot continue to graduate thousands of agriculturalists every year and yet food import is increasing.

“If we do not break this chain no one will break it for us. Therefore, it’s very important to let you know that you are not in the as usual form of trap father it’s our attempt at a pedagogical retooling of the Nigerian academia, one person at a time by imbibing the culture of excellence and success stories and to see how this can be replicated back home,” he added.