University scholars and researchers in the country have been urged to actively engage in quality innovative and cost effective technological researches that would boost sustainable food and societal security in Nigeria and across the Sub-Saharan Africa.
The charge was given by world-class scientist and the current President, African-German Network for Excellence in Science (AGNES), Prof. Odunayo Clement Adebooye who is also the Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University, Osogbo while delivering the maiden edition of the School of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (SAFNR) Lecture Series at Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH), Okitipupa, Nigeria on Wednesday, 10th May, 2023 at the Main Campus.
Speaking on “Innovative Research and Extension Service Delivery for Sustainable Agricultural Production and Economic Growth in Nigeria”, the professor of plant physiology argued that research the world over has gone beyond mere data gathering and analysis of information designed to contribute to generalized knowledge, demography of a farmer and size of his family and the rest.
He submitted that for Nigeria to attain food sufficiency and make farming business lucrative, researchers should continually develop, consciously communicate and ensure farmers rear the latest breeds of livestock and cultivate the latest breeds of crops, using state-of-the-art technologies for better yields and more profits.
According to the eminent professor, the Nigeria’s agricultural production was yet to meet the expected status due to poor quality of innovative research that could drastically change the narrative of the Nigerian society in terms of availability of food and other agricultural output in sufficient quantity.
Prof. Adebooye, therefore, called on the federal government to adequately fund quality researches and honour the Maputo Declaration which mandated member countries to dedicate 10 percent of their annual budgetary allocations to agriculture.
The cerebral agriculturist posited that researchers in the 21st Century Nigeria should partner with industries and governments to ensure that their research activities were demand-driven and targeted at solving specific challenges crucial to increase productivity and sustainable agricultural practices for food security and rewarding farming engagements.
The highly celebrated professor stressed that Nigeria reputed as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and the highest producer of rice, yam and cassava in the Sub-Saharan Africa, could not afford to lag behind in terms of qualitative, innovative and problem-solving research outputs that would take into cognisance the emerging issue of climate change, among others.
“As Nigerians, we just have to recalibrate our mode of thinking to have a better, more prosperous and sustainable society that can ensure food and societal security. We cannot use the same methodology under the same exogenous and endogenous conditions and expect a different or better results. Albert Einstein called such reasoning as father of insanity,” he declared.
Concluding, the Guest professor asserted that to have a more robust sustainable agriculture and food security, women’s voice should be heard and they should have direct access to farming incentives provided by government agencies and other non- governmental organizations.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Temi E. Ologunorisa, emphasized on the need for various schools in the University to periodically organise workshops, conferences and lecture series bringing eminent scholars to speak on topical issues that would positively impact on the University community and society at large.
He lauded the School of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (SAFNR), under the leadership of eminent scholar, Prof. Oluyemisi Akinyemiju for taking the lead and called on other Schools to follow suit.
This, Prof. Ologunorisa stressed, would help improve the national and global visibility and enhance positive image of the University.
In his opening remarks, the SAFNR Dean, Prof. Akinyemiju explained that the topic for the lecture was carefully selected to integrate the vision of the Vice-Chancellor for the University within the context of the University’s motto: “for society and development” and in tandem with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Prof. Akinyemiju appreciated the lecturer for sparing part his precious time for the lecture and the Vice-Chancellor for the inspiration and support given towards the successful host of the lecture.
The lecture was graced by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Prof. David Aworinde, Acting Registrar, Mr. Idowu S. Omowole, Acting Bursar, Mr. Ganiyu Aminu, Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Adegoke Adegbite, Acting Dean, School of Engineering, Dr. Issac Olaniyan, the former Dean, School of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Prof. Funmilola Agbebi, Deputy Director, Information, Protocol and Public Relations, Mr. Paul Adeagbo, other eminent academics, members of public, staff and students.