By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Forestry stakeholders in the country over the weekend alerted that there is the need to plant 25million trees in Nigeria by 2020 to minimize further environmental degradation in and across the country.
The stakeholders raised the alarm in a communique issued at the end of its 2019 Agroforestry Farming Systems Workshop in Ibadan hosted by the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Jericho, Ibadan and attended by forestry and agricultural researchers from all over the country,
In the communique, the stakeholders comprising of eminent researchers and farmers also emphasized the need for them to urgently meet with President Muhamnadu Buhari and the National Assembly towards finding lasting solution to the food security problem in Nigeria.
The stakeholders at the workshop with the theme “Economic Recovery and Food Security: Green Economy and Environmental Approach.”, noted that to tackle the mounting effects of environmental degradation across Nigeria arising from the rampaging climate change, it is commited to planting 25million trees by 2020 to minimize further environmental degradation in and across the country.
Also, the stakeholders in the communique stated that it has “resolved to curtail the menace of deforestation, desertification and erosion in Nigeria through the promotion of agroforestry as an effective tool towards achieving sustainable forest management and environmental amelioration.” and
that in addition to the proposed interface with President Buhari and the National Assembly on the issue of food security in Nigeria, there is also the need for a similar parley with the Governors’ Forum “to facilitate the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the tree planting on their land with agreed sharing formula.”
The meeting further resolved to checkmate the culture of post-harvest losses in Nigeria by mandating FRIN to train farmers on waste management and production of compost manure from agricultural and household waste as well as value addition and sourcing of stable market for farm produce, saying, “to this end, farmers were urged to submit their proposal in line with their choice of trees so as to achieve the planting of 25million trees by next year.”.
It also stressed that efforts would be intensified in establishing more plantations of indigenous tree species “especially vitellaria paradoxa and parkia biglobosa because of their economic and nutition importance.”
On the capital intensive nature of designing a green house, the workshop advised FRIN to come up with other ways if improving green house for upcoming farmers to use and to acquire motorized climbers for harvesting tall oil palm trees and consequently design locally-fabricated ones thus making the facility massively available to farmers in no distant future.
The stakeholders then expressed appreciation to the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) for spearheading increased collaboration between Research institutes and the nation’s ivory towers as a means of providing effective solution to problems bedeviling the country.
Earlier, the Director-General of FRIN, Professor Adesola Adepoju while speaking said the Workshop was part of efforts of the Institute to showcase its research breakthroughs over the years for farmers and stakeholders toadopt, so as to alleviate poverty, combat environmental challengesespecially in this period of the adverse effect of climate change, toreduce food insecurity, and also to promote green economy and economic recovery.
The Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Professor Suleiman Bogoro,in his keynote address said TETFUND would give FRIN positiveconsideration in its request for professorial research grants .
Professor Bogoro lamented that Nigeria’s tertiary institutions have, for too long, been laying too much emphasis on publications at the expense of research outputs and called for positive ways forward.