Prof. Job Nmadu, a lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Minna has expressed concern over continuous use of simple implements like hoes and cutlasses for farming activities in Nigeria.
Nmadu made this known in a joint statement with Dr Jane Munonye, Dean Faculty of Agriculture, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike(AE-FUNAI) in Abuja on Tuesday.
The statement was issued at the end of a conference and colloquium organised in honour of Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba, Vice Chancellor of AE-FUNAI, by Nigerian Association of Agricultural Economists and AE-FUNAI.
The conference had the theme, “Agricultural Development in Nigeria: Evidence can chart the path.”
Nmadu, who is also National President, NAAE, called on researchers in Nigeria to emulate Nwajiuba’s numerous achievements, particularly in agriculture, by charting a pathway beyond use of hoes and cutlasses.
He described the vice chancellor as a core agricultural economist “who looks agriculture, thinks agriculture, sleeps agriculture and works agriculture.
“His research efforts in the field of agriculture are evident and he is an expert worthy to reckon with.
“His effort enabled the NAAE to submit a memorandum on unbundling agricultural training in Nigeria.
“I therefore urge the NUC to expedite action on approval process of the new curriculum.
“Also, the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education should follow similar path.”
Similarly, Munonye described Nwajiuba as an administrator with unparalleled achievements in his five years tenure as Vice Chancellor of AE-FUNAI.
She described him as a man who believed that the reward for hard work was more work.
Munonye commended him for the establishment of a modern Faculty of Agriculture in the institution.
On the theme of the conference, the dean noted that the current government direction indicated a need for those in the academia to lend their voices to national needs and make significant input.
“About 30 to 40 per cent of foods produced in Nigeria are ultimately wasted, despite the fact that, the foods produced are not enough to feed our teeming population.
“No country can develop beyond its educational level, as such academics need to liaise with industries and stakeholders.
“This is to showcase our research findings in agriculture so that we can chart a pathway beyond the use of hoes and machetes,” she said.
Nwajiuba enjoined the NAAE to aim for higher relevance in providing sustainable solutions to the problems of agricultural developments in Nigeria.
He said that efforts should be made to make agricultural training attractive and innovative.
The vice chancellor stressed that he had laid foundation for that through collaboration with IITA, Tuns Farm Osogbo, Songhai farms Porto Novo and other relevant stakeholders.
He called for the aligning the Nigerian budget cycle with the main planting seasons to forestall the persistent problem of agricultural funding.