Paucity of funds, theft, others, are threat to food security in Nigeria - FUNNAB VC - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Paucity of funds, theft, others, are threat to food security in Nigeria - FUNNAB VC

The Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Prof. Olusola Kehinde, has identified paucity of funds, theft of farm produce, inadequate of manpower and dearth of necessary equipment as threat to food security in Nigeria.

Prof. Kehinde, who said this at a press conference to herald the 31st Convocation ceremony of the institution, said the institution is taking step to revitalise agriculture in a commercial quantity to make food sufficiently available for the whole country.

He said the university was committed to practical agriculture, explained that the institution is blessed with about 10, 200 hectares of land with which to realise its intention.

The VC further explained that the university was in the process of collaborating with the Federal, state governments and other corporate organisations in the country to open up the virgin land within the institution's campus to enable it contribute its quota to alleviate challenges of food scarcity in the country.

The Vice Chancellor, noted that the institution in line with the vision of President Bola Tinubu’s administration of tackling food security headlong, has reactivated staff farming scheme, and allocated farm lands to interested staff.

"We have started commercial production of plantain suckers using micro and macro propagation techniques.  We have also embarked on commercial production of fish fingerlings, juveniles and table size.  Also we have commenced commercial production of broilers for frozen chicken just as we have also been producing rabbits in commercial quantities".

"In line with the vision of President Tinubu’s administration of tackling food security headlong, we have reactivated staff farming scheme and have allocated farm lands to interested staff".

"The FUNAAB Integrated Ventures has been strengthened and made to expand its scope of operation.  The Wood Processing Unit of the University has been revitalized and various wood products are being produced. Eucalyptus tree nursery has been established for commercial production of the tree.  We planted two thousand seedlings of teak trees last year and we intend to plant additional three thousand this year.  Eventually, we hope to establish a saw-milling plant this year".

Speaking on the feat recorded by the institution in the last one year, Prof. Kehinde said, "Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta has emerged the best University of Agriculture in Africa and the 7th in the World as ranked by the Times Higher Education (THE) 2024 World University Rankings (WUR)".

"While basking in the euphoria of the above feat, we added another feather to our already bedecked cap by another ranking organization – Study Abroad Aide (SAA) which, by its latest ranking, put our University in the 11th position as the Best valued University for International Students among 149 Universities in Nigeria".  

"In the course of the last one year, we have established the Conflict Resolution and Policy Advisory Committee to mediate on issues of conflict among staff members and proffer solutions, as appropriate. We have also established the Career Services and Linkages Unit to enhance the employability of FUNAAB students in accordance with the realities of the 21st Century University. TETFUND is assisting us in this regard with funding.  In addition, the University–Wide Equipment Maintenance Unit was created".  

"Research activities have been intensified with academic staff accessing the TETFund Institutional-Based Research Grant of about N185m.  

"In addition, twelve of our researchers won grants of the National Research Fund to the tune of N311m in year 2023.  It may interest our distinguished audience that FUNAAB was ranked as the sixth best performer among Nigerian Higher Education Institutions in this regard". 

"Our academic staff won externally-funded research grants worth twenty five thousand pounds (£25,000) and one hundred and ninety eight thousand Euros (€198,000).  We did not stop at winning grants, our University participated actively in the TETFund-sponsored 2023 TETFund Alliance for Innovative Research (TETFAIR) Programme where FUNAAB performed excellently well. Two Innovations which emanated from our Research Programmes were submitted by the University – ANimeDRrig and Nimtrack, and they were accepted and adjudged suitable for the next stage of the programme out of the over 2,400 innovations submitted by all Higher Institutions in the country".

On the graduation, the Vice Chancellor disclosed that a total of 3,574  students are graduating with Bachelor’s Degrees in various disciplines.  

"Out of these, a total  of 122  graduate with First Class Honours Degree, 1,540 in the Second Class Upper Division, 1,705 in the Second Class Lower Division, while 187 had Third Class Degrees. The remaining 20 graduands earned the Veterinary Medicine Degree, which is not categorized/classified".

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