TUESDAY- 16th November, 2021: The Horticultural Society of Nigeria (HORTSON), in collaboration with the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN) began its 39th Annual Scientific Conference themed: “The role of Horticulture and Sustainable Health in era of Climate Change and Covid-19 Pandemic.”
CEOAFRICA reports that the event which kicked-off yesterday 14th with the arrival and registration of delegates, also held a council meeting
at the Lawrence Opeke Conference Hall, CRIN, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The conference is scheduled to run through 18th November, 2021 as registration of delegates continued today, followed by the opening ceremony which took centre stage at noon.
Dignitaries at the opening ceremony were Prof. Fatunbi A. Oluwole, from the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) Executive Director, CRIN. Dr. Patrick Adebola, President in Council, HORTSON, Dr. Usman Ibrahim, the Executive Secretary Agriculltural Research Council of Nigeria(ARCN), Prof. Sharubutu Garba Hamidu, ably represented by Executive Director NIHORT , DR Ephraim I Nwanguma , Engr. (Mrs) Omolara Olorode, Zonal Director, NTA, Ibadan Zonal Network Centre, Prof. I.O.O. Aiyelaagbe,FHSN, amongst many others.
The Chief Host of the Conference and Executive Director of the Cocoa Research Institute (CRIN), Dr. Patrick Adebola in a chat with CEOAFRICA, said that it is a privilege for the institute to host the
conference adding that the contribution of the Horticultural Society cannot be over emphasized, both in terms of research, the outcome of the research and the dissemination of the research result.
He also added “ I believe that the communiqué that will be made at the end of the conference would be something that the policy makers would seriously look into to make horticulture better in Nigeria.
“I also feel privileged to have several and eminent scientist coming into our institute and it is my believe that whatever scientific presentation that takes place here will be useful to our country and all
the individuals coming here.”
He welcomed dignitaries while disclosing that the Institute is in a new era and has graciously approved the payment of registration fees and transportation support to those scientists coming for the conference.
Chairman of the Planning Committee, Dr. Rotimi Ipimoroti, disclosed the 39th Conference is the first to be hosted in Ibadan, Oyo state and that it will be hosting dignitaries from in and outside Nigeria.
He noted that conference is aimed at finding solutions to crops that cut across the value chain.
“We expect to have more knowledge on recent findings across the various disciplines in horticulture, that at the end of the day, the farmers who are the end users of our research will be able to have a bumper harvest
of their product, means of storage and processing that will add value to improve the well being of man.” he said.
The President in Council of HORTSON, Dr. Usman Ibrahim, disclosed in a chat with CEOAFRICA that the 39th Annual conference is coming at a time when the nation is faced with a lot of Climate Change, Covid-19, food and disease challenges. He noted that horticulture is known to be a remedy for diseases adding that a lot of researches would be presented at the conference to look at the nutritional and health benefits of most
crops that can help in health and solve the problem of hunger in the country.
He further stated that horticulture has a lot of collaborations and partnership, “horticulture is like a mother with so many branches, like the crop protection, the agronomy, the crop physiology, they are all under
“There’s a lot of collaboration between all the various areas of crop production and then you see a lot of researches coming around from different disciplines even socio economic and medicine.
“As you know very well we use a lot of ginger and garlic to solve health issues and these are horticultural crops.”
The Keynote speaker of the event, Prof. Fatunbi A. Oluwole, lauded the organisers for the theme of the conference stating that it connotes the need for an urgent response to salvage the food situation in Nigeria.
He said “I consider the subject matter of this conference to be one that is very important, it connotes that we truly need to do something urgently to save the country from a repeat of the 2008 food crises.
“The situation of food and nutritional security is attaining a threshold that if we don’t intervene now we get into serious trouble.
“And this conference is calling our collective intelligence to task as an association, of course you recognize that HORTSON is a think-tank and so we are expected to come together and put our collective intelligence
together to come up with solutions to the ongoing food and nutritional security issues.
“The statistics is truly frightening as it shows that Nigerians are at the verge of huge trouble if we don’t find solutions to this trouble.”
Other events that took place on the day include; the HORTSON awards presentations for deserving individuals associated with the society.
Recipients of the award of fellows include; Governor, Seyi Makinde, Prof. Sharubutu Garba, Dr Adayomi Olaniyan, Dr. Patrick Adebola, Dr. Ephraim Ifeanyi Uwagunma, Dr Mohammed Sadiq, Dr Olagorite Adetula , Dr Jimoh Mamoud, and Prof Abdul Ahmed Manda.
Some of the recipients of the awards who spoke to CEOAFRICA expressed delight for being recognized by the society.
Dr. Olagorite Adetula said “I am highly delighted and honoured for the award being recognised shows the capacity and the empowerment in the area of horticultural research. I have been working with National
Horticultural Research Institute for over 30years, and that means doing research for the improvement of horticultural crops, for food security
for the improvement of nutrition and also for utilisation and marketing of horticultural crops.”
She advised youths to embrace agriculture as a way of defeating unemployment adding that it encourages networking and sustainability.
A lunch, 1st phase of Parallel Plenary sessions and a Cocktail party also took place.
The 2nd 3rd and 4th Parallel Plenary sessions will take place on Day 3 of the Conference, with a Student’s competition also holding on the same day.
The final Plenary Sessions, field trip and the Annual General Meeting as well as the elections to elect new executive members will all be the main activities of Day 4 of the conference.
The events of the 4th day will be rounded up with a beautiful Dinner Night as delegates will be treated to breath taking activities lined up for the night.
However the organisers will be rolling down the curtains on the event Thursday as all registered delegates begin to depart the conference to their various destinations across Nigeria.
The Horticultural Society of Nigeria (HORTSON), was established in 1977 and is a registered society in Nigeria, as one of the most respected and influential Professional societies for horticultural scientists.
HORTSON is comprised of thousands of members within and outside Nigeria, and also represents a broad cross-section of the horticultural community -scientists, educators, students, landscape managers, government and industry professionals.
The annual conference is held to provide a meeting point for members and stakeholders far and wide to meet and discuss issues that affect the society, proffer solutions and point the way forward.