By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede on Monday said incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in some parts of Nigeria now constitute great threat to agricultural research and productivity in the country.
Professor Ogunbodede stated this while speaking at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) Ibadan at the opening of 2020/2021 annual-in-house review exercise/33rd South West Zonal Research Extension Farmers Input Linkage System (REFILS) workshop.
According to the Vice Chancellor, efforts must be put in place to find solutions to the incessant clashes among farmers and herdsmen, as “climate change, COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the clashes between farmers and herdsmen required a new approach so as to tackle food insufficiency in the country.”
” The issues of climate change, friction between farmers and herdsmen and indeed COVID-19 pandemic, have affected agricultural research and productivity and required a new approach to research and development”, he said.
Professor Ogunbodede added, ” Researchers must now begin or think of ways and means of mitigating these. Boko Haram started in Borno in 2009, in a decade it has become a West African group, the attacks are having its impact on food security. Government must ensure that all Nigerians have access to vaccines to address COVID-19 pandemic.”
He stated that researchers must think of ways to mitigate the effect of the clashes so as to avert food scarcity in and across the country, adding, ” I am aware that as a result of the COVID -19 pandemic in the year 2020, the institute was unable to hold the annual-in-house review exercise and the REFILS workshop. This is why this year’s event is in respect of the years 2020 and 2021.”
The Executive Director of ( IAR&T), Professor Veronica Obatolu while speaking noted that erratic supply of electricity has affected most of the research and seed storage funding.
Professor Obatolu stressed , “short supply of electricity has affected most of our research and seed storage funding. Most lands have been under continuous cultivation, opening of new lands requires huge capital.”