Prof. Adeboye Omole, a Livestock Specialist at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, on Thursday urged farmers to provide solutions to unemployment and food insecurity in the country.
Omole made the call at the Oyo state Farmers Day/Agricultural Trade Fair Show 2018, organised by Joe Communication Productions, under the auspices of Lagelu 96.7fm, Ibadan, in collaboration with the IAR&T.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme had its theme as ‘Empowering Our Farmers’.
Omole emphasised that farmers could also provide solutions to hunger and social vices in Nigeria and Africa by actively participating in agriculture.
He noted that different agricultural value chains ranging from fish production, poultry, piggery, crop production, among others, could boost the country’s economy if farmers could properly engage in agriculture and agri-business.
“Each climatic zone has its own advantage in particular varieties of crops and species of livestock.
“Cocoa, kolanut in the South-West, groundnut in the North, Oil palm in the South, cassava, maize and yam could be grown all over the country.
“There is a ready-made market for agricultural products, the onus lies on us to tap into the abundant resources God has blessed us with,” he said.
Also speaking, the IAR&T Executive Director, Prof. James Adediran, said the institute rendered support services to farmers and agricultural stakeholders through the development of demand-driven technologies and training programmes for the past five years.
Adediran, represented by the institute’s Deputy Director, Dr Jelili Saka, said IAR&T developed improved kenaf, maize, cowpea and soyabean varieties, with complementary packages of recommendations for improved productivity.
He added that efforts by the institute yielded cost-effective management and feeding systems for ruminants, poultry, pig and micro-livestock.
“Our research in the areas of product development has produced commercialisable value added products for crops that are adapted to South-West agro-ecologies,” he said.
Also, Mr Joseph Okon, the Convener, from Lagelu FM, underscored the need for the country to seriously drift massively with all its resources into agriculture.
To this effect, Okon remarked that the organisation would soon inaugurate a Non-Governmental foundation to massively campaign for agricultural reformation.
“The vision of the G-20 foundation to be inaugurated today is to see Nigeria taking the lead in global agriculture, motivating our farmers for more food production,’’ he said.
The highlight of the event included talks by representatives of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of industry, an exhibition of farm produce, as well as the presentation of awards to some IAR&T staff, to mark the 50th anniversary of the institute.