If graduates of agricultural colleges, universities and associated institutions would roll up their sleeves, apply theories and techniques they have been taught, and incorporate business and value chain dimensions into practice of agriculture, Nigeria will soon become food-secure.
The above was the position of Dr Olatunde Owosibo, Provost of the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology (FCAH&PT), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Friday.
“This school is an agro-based college and we know that Nigeria is challenged with the issue of food production. Our mandate is to produce middle-level manpower in the area of agriculture and related sciences.
“The matriculating students will be trained in the area of agriculture to use technological means to boost food production and animal production in Nigeria and by so doing, we will be moving towards food sufficient in food production in the country because the majority of these students are also going to be useful as extension workers.
“They will be able to work for the government, work for private institutions and also carry information from the research institutions, from technical angles and able to relate them to the farmers in simple language,” he said.
He emphasised that new technologies of production, preservation and value addition are essential for food security, and institutes and agricultural graduates have greater roles to play in disseminating such technologies.
He expressed the hope that graduates from the college would replace aged farmers after graduation, saying, “and so Nigeria is on the way to becoming food-sufficient as far as production is concerned.”
He said the college had been able to develop an electro-ejaculator, which is used for artificial insemination that is for swine (pig production), and the college had been very dynamic in the production of day-old chicks, teaching students from breeding, incubation, production and value addition in poultry and livestock.
“Today, day-old chicks that come out of our breeder and farm and sciences are very much enduring and they are bringing profits to the farmers that are really using them and what we are getting from them are also useful to be able to train our students in the state-of-the-art technologies of production, new trends of production and so on and so forth.”
He added: “We have facilities to train the students from breeding to the table in this college. In fact, this college is so blessed that the majority of students that come here have been stars all around. They have been entrepreneurs and also in high places; they are all doing well in the agricultural sector.
The federal college matriculated over 1000 students into Ordinary National Diploma (OND) Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes for the 2022/2022 academic session.
The provost warned the new students to abstain from anti-social activities, such as cultism and violent protests, as such could jeopardise their chances of becoming graduates and useful members of society.
He hinted that more OND and HND programmes were being approved by regulatory authorities, which, he believed, would afford more Nigerians to study agriculture-related programmes and contribute to efforts towards food security.