Thursday, September 29, 2022

ABU ready to transform Nigeria’s agriculture: Vice-Chancellor

Kabir Bala says ABU has a fully fledged faculty of agriculture and specialised institutes with national mandate.

• September 22, 2020
Utako Market, Abuja. September 14, 2020. Ahmed Oluwasanjo for Peoples Gazette.

Ahmadu Bello University vice-chancellor Kabir Bala said the huge agricultural complex of the university could aggressively transform Nigeria’s economy by making the country a net exporter of agricultural products.

The vice-chancellor said the school’s farm had all it takes to play such a role, especially if relevant research could be conducted for a good harvest, NAN reported.

Mr. Bala said ABU has a fully fledged faculty of agriculture and specialised institutes with national mandate.

The institutes are the Institute for Agricultural Research, National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services and National Animal Production Research Institute.

Arrangements were being put in place to establish an all-embracing research and innovation centre to encourage research effort in the university.

The academic drew inspiration from Nigeria’s peers across the world who have been able to ward off hunger by maximising yields from their fertile lands and resources.

Muktar Mahmud, dean of the agriculture department, said the school collaborated with a vegetable research firm in Thailand.

At least 136 agricultural extension workers from Kaduna and Kano were trained, while one of the participants received over $5,000 in research grant.

Nigeria has spent decades importing food items, including those it has the capacity to produce. This has been widely blamed on the rising cost of food across the country.

The ABU’s approach could bolster President Muhammadu Buhari’s argument that agriculture is a viable career path for young Nigerians, although this was largely rejected by critics who said the country should be aiming to join other service and tech-based economies in the modern age.

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