By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
The Vice Chancellor Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Professor Kabir Bala has said that the Agricultural Complex of the university can ggressively transform Nigeria’s economy by making it a net exporter of agricultural products.
He stated this while declaring open a field day at a newly established demonstration farm at the Faculty of Agriculture.
Prof. Kabir Bala said the complex has all it takes to play such roles if relevant researches are conducted for good harvest.
According to him, apart from the fully fledged Faculty of Agriculture, the university also has such specialized institutes with national mandate as Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS) and National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI).
He said arrangements are being put in place to establish an all-embracing research and innovation centre to encourage research efforts at the university.
The Vice Chancellor also said that agriculture is one of ABU’s strongest points as a citadel of learning.
He lamented that if other developing nations could get high yield, what stops Nigeria from achieving same feat given the availability of its fertile lands and resources.
The Vice-Chancellor also announced the intention of his administration to take over the university farms for commercial farming as a way of revenue generation for the university.
Prof. Bala, who commended the Faculty of Agriculture as well as the specialised agric institutes for organising the field day, said Nigerians must design a solution to their peculiar problems through research and innovation.
Earlier in his address, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. Muktar Mahmud, said the demonstration farm was established by the faculty in collaboration with East-West International, a vegetable research firm with headquarters in Thailand.
He also said the collaboration saw the training of 136 extension workers from Kaduna and Kano, saying that the East-West International granted a 5,650 dollars scholarship to Nasiru Adda’u, an undergraduate student of the faculty.
Also speaking, East-West Seed Manager, Mr. David Godfree Alechenu, said the company had different sections that included food processing, business and knowledge transfer.
He said the objective of the partnership is to empower farmers and that so far, the company has trained over 10,000 farmers in Kaduna State in addition to training the agro-dealers who happened to be the link between farmers and the company.