Provost/Chief Executive Officer of FCAH&PT, Ibadan, Dr Adekoya Olatunde Owosibo wtih College team and members of Young Farmers Club at UMCC, Ibadan
Friday, 25th June 2021: The Provost/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal College of Animal Health & Production Technology, (FCAH&PT), Ibadan, Dr Adekoya Olatunde Owosibo, on Thursday identified lack of technological know-how, lack of funding, land tenure system and incessant farmers/herders clashes, kidnapping as well as banditry as some of the major challenges facing the development of agriculture in Nigeria;
Dr Owosibo spoke with CEOAFRICA in an exclusive interview at the inauguration of Young Farmers Club, (YFC), at the United Missionary Comprehensive College, (UMCC), Molete, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The FCAH&PT chief executive officer said the institute embarked on the programme aimed at stimulating young students to pick interest in agriculture either as a course of study or as a business because of the interest of the Nigerian government to diversify the nation’s economy.
According to him, “There is a lot of drift from agriculture and the Nigerian Government is trying to see that it diversify the economy and the only solution is agriculture.
“That is why we are introducing agriculture to the young girls and boys in the secondary school, to stimulate them to see agriculture as a viable area of profession that they can venture into in the nearest future.
“We are not saying all of them should study agriculture but we are explaining to them that in any profession, they found themselves, be it Doctor, Engineer, Teacher, Journalist, they should be able to see that practicing agriculture as a side business would give them additional income, create wealth for them and make Nigeria to be sustainable in nutrition and food security.”
The aim of the inauguration of the Young Farmers Club in schools is to stimulate the interest of the students and teachers alike in agriculture and to make them realise that agriculture is a business they can venture into and be comfortable in it without regret.
Similarly, the Director of Extension Services in the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology Ibadan, Dr Grace Oyinlola Alonge, has said that agriculture is the key to bail Nigeria out of her present economic predicament.
She stated this while speaking with CEOAFRICA.
In her words, “if we see what is happening in the country, we would see that oil has failed and out shift to oil caused a drop in the agricultural production. So, this is a clarion call to re-direct the attention of people especially the young ones to agriculture so that they can see there are possibilities in agriculture, right from their young age.
“For any country to have a revolution in their economy, it must start from agriculture because when you do not have enough food, you would notice that you would not balance.
“We want people to go back to agriculture even if it is on a subsistent level; the little space in their backyard would yield, if they turn it to farm.”
Dr Alonge said already the College has adopted eight schools and expressed the hope that more schools can come on board in future based on increase in funding.
She explained the importance of the adoption of schools to educate the students and teachers about what extension services and the importance of according agriculture, the pride of place in the nation’s secondary schools.
According to the Director, in the Agricultural Research Outreach Centres’ programme, they have schools and villages that have been adopted for regular visit to create awareness concerning the activities of the College and agricultural extension programmes.
She said the challenges posed by the Agricultural Research system in Nigeria necessitated the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, (ARCN), to setup the Agricultural Research Outreach centres, (AROC).
Dr Alonge explained that the National Agricultural Research Institutes, (NARIs), and the Federal Colleges of Agriculture, (FCAs) under the ARCN are the vehicles through which AROC activities of interacting and developing technologies that meet the needs of the Farmers in their various Agro-climatic conditions are achieved.
Also a staff of FCAH&PT, Dapo Agbato, a veterinarian used the occasion to educate and encouraged students of the school who have flares for the treatment of veterinary disease to choose veterinary medicine as a course to study, explaining that “Veterinary medicine is a branch of science that deals with prevention, control, diagnosing and treatment of veterinary diseases as well as prevention of diseases that affects man from animals.”
The Principal of the United Missionary Comprehensive College, Ibadan, Mrs Ann Olusike Adekunle, was full of appreciation to the Provost of the Principal of the Federal College of Animal Health & Production Technology, Ibadan, Dr Owosibo, for counting the school worthy of benefitting from the scheme.
“The visit is a blessing to this school. We appreciate Dr Owosibo who brought the program to us. With the new programme (inauguration of Young Farmers Club) here, and with this team bringing the YFC here, we know that henceforth, we would function well in propelling agriculture as a club to reckon with in UMCC “.
On her part, she said, “I am going to encourage the students and the staff to project this programme, increase the periods for club to assist them to make good use of the time in their respective farms.”
Most of the students who spoke with CEOAFRICA expressed their gratitude to the College for coming to their school with the introduction of YFC.
During the event, students of the UMCC were educated on the importance of the study of agriculture and the need to choose it as a profession. They were also exposed to several aspects of agriculture including animal science, poultry, veterinary medicine and agribusiness, among others.
Highlights of the inauguration of YFC were cultural display and entertainment by a cross section of the students.