The Federal Government has been asked to urgently review all agricultural policies in the country in order to salvage the nation from imminent famine.
The 65th Inaugural Lecturer of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNAAB, Ogun State, Prof. Adeyemi Bamgbose, gave the advice, while delivering his lecture, stressinh the need for critical evaluation, assessment, impact and output of different agricultural policies aimed at overall improvement and sustainability of agriculture in Nigeria.
Arguing that this will ensure food security for the Nigerian populace, Prof Bamgbose’s is coming at a time when Nigerians are lamenting rising cost of living as the country’s inflation hits a 4-year high by more than 18 percent in March, leading to astronomical hike of about 23 per cent in food prices.
Prof. Bamgbose spoke on the topic, “Feeds and Feedstuffs: Panacea for Declining Commercial Animal Agriculture and Food Insecurity in Nigeria,” at the 65th FUNAAB Inaugural Lecture, held at Oluwafemi Balogun Ceremonial Building.
Bamgbose said that the task ahead of Nigeria’s livestock sub-sector is multifarious and challenging; adding that success will only be achieved through re-orientation, commitment, dedication, sacrifice, honesty, accountability, adequate funding, motivation and cooperation of all Nigerians in particular, and the international community in general.
The don, who is of the Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production, COLANIM, of FUNAAB, said there was need to harness the available unconventional/alternative feed resources localised in different eco-systems and regions in Nigeria for utilisation in the efficient and sufficient nutrition of farm animals for improved productive and economic performance.
The Professor of Animal Nutrition added that the necessity to improve the current animal production systems in Nigeria cannot be disputed, stressing that there is great and urgent need for more food in the country, particularly more animal products.
He insisted that the utilisation of some important unconventional feedstuffs, through improved feeding regimes and the management practices, could be used to improve the productivity of monogastric animals, which would stimulate human productivity, engender development and increased gross domestic products, GDP, thus accentuating economic recovery and food security.
Prof Bamgbose said, “By doing so, Nigeria will join the league of advanced countries in the world in no distant future.”
Prof. Bamgbose called for the re-introduction and commercialisation of branded FUNAAB feeds to guarantee availability of quality feeds to livestock farmers, adding that commercialisation of poultry and rabbit production is an avenue to increase the internal generated revenue, IGR, of the university and ensure farm fresh animal products like meat, eggs and so on for the university community and the nation at large.
He also called for the establishment of an agricultural village on the university farm under the management of the Directorate of University Farms, DUFARMS, to be involved in agric-business ventures and enterprises.
He further stressed that it can be involved in training, workshop, entrepreneurship, production, processing, preservation, packaging, youth/women empowerment and marketing.
Earlier in his introductory remark, FUNAAB Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako, described the inaugural lecturer as an accomplished erudite scholar, who has impacted positively, especially in the areas of academic and moral excellence.