Don calls for excellence in agric research, manpower development

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A retiring professor of Agricultural Economics, Christian Ejike Onyenweaku, has called on Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) Abia State, other universities and colleges of agriculture in the country to emphasise excellence in agricultural research and manpower development.

While delivering his valedictory lecture, he urged the university to continue striving to become a centre of excellence, wax stronger in the pursuit of its mandate of impacting the society through commitment to excellence in agricultural education, research, dissemination of technologies and raising global leaders as change agents.

Onyenweaku, who was both the university’s second inaugural and valedictory lecturer, prayed the university to rev up academic excellence.

Professor Onyenweaku, apparently justifying his claim to have successfully fought a good fight and finished his academic race, told the university community that each semester, he discharged all his assignments creditably, taught all his undergraduate and post-graduate courses timely in accordance with the university’s calendars and examined his students as required by the regulations.

“Hardly did I miss classes, grading of scripts was according to the rules and release of results was timely. Till the last count, I have always packaged my answer scripts, marking schemes, question papers, class attendance lists and mark sheets (results) to the head of department each time I concluded grading of scripts,” he said.

In his 1980 and 1980 researches, he used spatial linear programming models to determine regional specialisation in food grains production in Nigeria based on the comparative advantage of the regions, among other gown and town academic achievements.

His research recommended that while the dry Savannah zone should stop producing maize, the intermediate Savannah zone should stop producing millet, the Western moist forest zone should stop producing sorghum while the forest Savannah mosaic zine should stop producing sorghum and millet.

According to him, the land withdrawn from these crops in each producing region could be put to other uses or alternative crops.

He listed ways of raising agricultural productivity in Nigeria as promoting private sector participation, improving cultural and husbandry practices, strengthening agricultural research and extension systems, investing in research, technology development and transfer.

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