A Professor of Agronomy and Farming Systems, at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Abia State, Dr. Cosmas Osita Muoneke has called for the development of appropriate agricultural waste disposal systems, by channeling wastes into agricultural production.
He said the move would not only protect the environment from pollution, it would also contribute to food security by increasing yields. Muoneke who made the recommendation while delivering the 27th Inaugural Lecture of the university, titled: “Farming Systems And National Food Security: The Place Of An Agronomist,” said there is need to encourage organic agriculture that maintains soil fertility and productivity, which makes soil nutrients available for crops.
According to him, organic agriculture “involves the use of organic manures from livestock and fish farming and the incorporation of leguminous crops into the farming systems.”
He said: “It is in this regard that I advocated intercropping in which the crops grown together are in definite row arrangements for ease of cultural operations.”
Muoneke corroborated the recommendation made by a past inaugural lecturer at the university, Prof Ike Nwachukwu for the establishment of a linkage between MOUAU and its neighbour – the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, as was the case between the Institute For Agricultural Research Zaria and the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria; the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training Ibadan, and the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife.
According to Muoneke, the linkage of “both institutions (MOUAU and NRCRI) will work together towards food security through their researches, training and extension services, as well as enable many qualified staff of the institute to attain the position of research professors.”