Agric researchers can solve food crisis in Nigeria, Dons counsel FG

THE Federal Government have been advised to give room for Agricultural Researchers in the country to use their expertise to solve food scarcity in Nigeria.

This advice was given by the Director of Research and Development at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan, Dr Robert Asiedu, while speaking at the opening ceremony of the first International Faculty of Sciences Conference (FASCON) held at the International Conference Centre, Lead City University, Ibadan, on Tuesday.

Asiedu, who was speaking on the theme “Applied Science: Tools for national development” said government need to encourage researchers in the country in order to proffer solution to the problem we are facing in the country today.

“Our researchers are doing very good to foster national development. They are doing a lot like other researchers in other countries of the world and with adequate media attention, everything seems okay. But government must be ready to really support these efforts more than it is currently doing.

“We do have brilliant scientists who are trained outside the shores of Nigeria, they want to come and contribute to the development of their fatherland but it is only when the government support them that they can come up with an advance technological innovative assistant in whatever form.

“Government just need to give them (researchers) the opportunity and support them because they have answers to the problems we are encountering now in the country,” he said.

While speaking on the national development, Dr Asiedu said researchers can make food available, and accessible through various agricultural sciences to the citizens.

“Agriculture still employs the largest people in all sectors but the way it is now, a lot of people are yet to be absorbed. If we make agriculture attractive to the youth and they take it on, they will be able to use modern technological tools and would be able to feed people more, better and throughout the seasons,” he said.

In her address, the Dean of Faculty of Science, Professor Olusola Ladokun, said the conference is organised to enable researchers showcase their research findings and most importantly, to stimulate interaction between researchers and boost collaborations in the field of sciences within and outside their institution.

According to Professor Ladokun, “our nation is traversing a time of many changes and we are meeting these changes during a time of global change. The World Applied Science is an exciting area in which to study and research, and we will continue to meet and bring inspired people together in forums like this to ensure our Faculty remains at the cutting edge national and global development. Out of 60 abstracts received and peer reviewed, a total of 50 were accepted for the oral presentations.”

Both Chancellor/Chairman Board of Trustees, Professor Gabriel Ogunmola and the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Olufemi Onabajo noted that research is very important, saying “it is only research that is needed to build a nation.”

The duo said that the University is just 11years but it is planning to make an impact in tertiary education in the country and even beyond, because the institution is blessed with gifted academics.