Nigeria Has No Reason To Suffer Food Insecurity ~ Adesope

By Humphrey Ogu
Nigeria has no reason not to be selfsufficient in food production and nutrition security. A Professor of Agricultural Extension, Olufemi Adesope of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension in the Faculty of Agriculture, made the observation while  delivering the 170th 
Inaugural Lecture of the University at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium on Thursday, June 17, 2021. Adesope, whose Lecture focused on ways of optimising Nigeria's development potentials through Agricultural Extension, with the title: “Agricultural Extension in Contemporary Nigeria: Optimising 
Our Development Potentials,” said “Nigeria is so blessed that we do not have any reason to be food and nutrition insecure.” 
during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown on poor agricultural policies. 
He blamed food, nutrition insecurity and related developmental challenges, experienced in the country, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown on poor agricultural policies. “I make bold to say that we, as a nation have refused to move faster than we should by not putting the policies right.” According to him, Nigeria has a highly diversified agroecological condition which makes it possible for the production of a wide ranging of agricultural products. “In Africa and particularly Nigeria, Agriculture is the bedrock of the nation. Food is a necessity in life and with teeming and growing population, the demand for food far exceeds supply,” he added.“Agriculture remains the main source of employment to the generality of Nigerians, who by the way live in rural and peri-urban areas. Agricultural Extension aims to help improve livelihoods through provision of reliable agricultural information,” the Professor of Agricultural Extension pointed out.  Defining Agricultural Extension as extending agricultural information related to food and nutrition to those who primarily produce food, Professor Adesope noted that “The Agricultural Sector still holds the key to sustainable food and nutrition security in Nigeria, and Agricultural Extension services are indispensable in the process.”Adesope identified the availability of youth, land resources, high population, cassava, rice fisheries and forestry sectors as some of Nigeria's development potentials that should be optimised for the benefit of the country. “Over 150,000 young Agriculturalists are churned out from the Faculties of Agriculture in Nigerian universities yearly, and enter into the labour market, yet engage non-professionals in Agricultural Extension-related facilities,” he said. On his contributions to scholarship, the Inaugural Lecturer, who has put in over 27 years as a teacher, facilitator, educator, researcher and administrator, said: “My research focus which was interlaced with community services began with livelihood and enterprise development. I focused on cooking banana adoption at a time when adoption of this product was very low, not minding its usefulness, snail domestication and yam mini-sett development.” Adesope also listed agro livelihood enterprise development, youth development studies, information and communication technology in Agriculture, adoption studies, livestock fisheries extension studies, food security assurance study, amongst other commissioned research activities as part of his contributions to agricultural research and community services.     
Speaking after the Lecture, Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Stephen Okodudu, described Inaugural 
Adesope, who made recommendations on how best to optimise Nigeria's development potentials through Agricultural Extension called for investment in the training of Agricultural Extension personnel on the use of ICT and social media, stating that that would save cost in terms of logistics for Agricultural Extension services. He also made case for the establishment of agro processing centres in Faculties of Agriculture and every local government areea in Nigeria. Speaking after the Lecture, Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Stephen Okodudu, described Inaugural .
Lectures as one of the flagship events in the University, where Professors share with the public what they have been doing in terms of teaching, research and community service. 
 Represented by Co-ordinator, Academic Affairs, Professor Abdulrazaq Kilani, the Acting Vice Chancellor described the Inaugural Lecturer, as a round peg in a round hole. Commending him for his contribution to the optimisation of the development of Nigeria through agricultural extension. “As Professor Adesope has told us, the fact remains that Agriculture is the bedrock of Nigeria, a major force to be reckoned with in the development of the nation. If you are conversant with the media you will notice the rising cost of food in the country. This is because we are a consuming nation,” he noted, adding that policy somersault has been the bane of development in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the 171 Inaugural Lecture entitled “Accident of Nature: Survival and Sequelae” would be delivered by Professor Angela Frank-Briggs of the Department of Paediatrics, College of Health Sciences, on Thursday, July 29, 2021.


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