ABU can transform Nigeria’s economy through agriculture, says VC

ABU can transform Nigeria’s economy through agriculture, says VC

Prof. Kabir Bala, Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, says the huge agricultural complex of the university can be used to transform the national economy and make Nigeria a net exporter of agricultural products.

 

A statement by Auwalu Umar, Acting Director, ABU’s Public Affairs Directorate, on Tuesday said that the vice-chancellor made the remarks at the field day for the newly established demonstration farm of the Faculty of Agriculture.

 

Bala said that the complex had the potential to stimulate massive agricultural production if relevant researches were conducted to boost harvests.

 

He said apart from the Faculty of Agriculture, the university also had specialised institutes with national mandates.

 

He listed the institutes as Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS) and National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI).

 

Besides, Bala said that arrangements were underway to establish an all-embracing research and innovation centre to boost research efforts in the university.

 

He stressed that agriculture was one of the strongest points of ABU as a citadel of learning.

 

He said that if other developing nations could get high yields, Nigeria ought to achieve the same feat, given the availability of fertile lands and resources in the country.

 

The vice-chancellor said the university management intended to take over the university’s farms and used them for commercial farming so as to generate revenue for the university.

 

Bala, who commended the Faculty of Agriculture and the specialised agricultural institutes for organising the field day, underscored the need for Nigerians to find pragmatic solutions to the nation’s problems through research and innovation.

 

The Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. Muktar Mahmud, said that the demonstration farm was established by the faculty, in collaboration with East-West International, a vegetable research firm with headquarters in Thailand.

 

Mahmud said that through the collaboration, 136 extension workers from Kaduna and Kano states had been trained, adding the East-West International also gave a 5,650-dollar scholarship to Nasiru Adda’u, an undergraduate student of the faculty.

 

Also speaking, the Seed Manager of East-West, Mr David-Godfree Alechenu, said that the company was involved in food processing, business and knowledge transfer; adding that the main objective of the partnership with ABU was to empower farmers.

 

He said that the company had trained over 10,000 farmers in Kaduna State, in addition to training agro-dealers who served as liaison between farmers and the company.

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