The Acting Vice Chancellor of the Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Ekpoma, Edo State, Prof. Benson Osadolor has challenged researchers to do more investigation into agriculture, with a view to coming up with practical and innovative ideas the would tackle food insecurity in Nigeria.
Prof. Osadolor made the call while speaking at the 94th Inaugural Lecture of the Ambrose Alli University, titled: “Monogastrics for Sustainable Food Security, Improved Health Condition and Poverty Alleviation”, delivered by a professor of Animal Nutrition and Biochemistry, Prof. Frederick Igene.
According to the vice Chancellor, who was represented at the occasion by Prof. Friday Iyoha, the problem of food insecurity had become a major devastating problem bedeviling the citizens of Nigeria and other countries in Africa.
He lamented that the food security crisis had been further compounded by the Covid-19 Global Pandemic and banditry, pointing out therefore that the need for sustainable food security in the country, could not be overemphasized.
He posited that when agriculture thrives in any country, the rate of hunger, food insecurity, poverty and the likes would be drastically reduced, hence the need for more researches into the field.
“When agriculture thrives in any country, the rate of hunger, malnutrition, poverty will be reduced. I therefore challenge our researchers to carry out more investigation into the field of agriculture, with a view to coming up with practical and innovative ideas on how to tackle food insecurity in Nigeria and beyond”, he said.
The inaugural lecturer, Prof. Frederick Igene called for adequate investment in the livestock sector and emphasized the need for provision of animal feeds that are rich in both quality and quantity to increase profitability in livestock business in the country.
He identified adoption of haphazard breeding programmes and the issue of disease and pest infestation, as major problems militating against animal production in the country, and advocated adequate funding of researches in the institutions of learning in Nigeria.
On the Farmers/Herders clashes, Prof. Igene recommended proper education and orientation for farmers and herders; and establishment of meat processing factories, especially in the north and middle belt, to tackle the incessant killings from farmers Herders clashes.
“Many countries in sub-saharan Africa will continue to face serious problems in terms of food self-sufficiency and food security, especially in the livestock sector, if immediate and adequate measures for sustainability are not taken.
” For food security to be ensured in Nigeria, problems of insufficient production, gender inequality, inefficient policies and corruption, conflicts, civil insecurity, climate change and natural disaster, low technology for processing and storage, amongst others must be addressed “, he emphasized.