• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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FUNAAB VC decries invasion of farmland by cattle rearers, herders

Felix Salako

Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta ( FUNAAB), Felix Salako, has highlighted the problems confronting farmers in the nation and that if the challenges can be addressed, the quest for food security and economic development would be achieved

He made this disclosure while addressing the topic, ” Nigeria @60 :The Role of Agricultural Institutions in Nation Building,” in a telephone interview with BusinessDay.

Salako, a professor of soil physics, said the invasion of various farmland by cattle rearers was a major challenge farmers were facing in recent times, noting that the cattle rearers and herders had destroyed many farmlands over the years, including research farms with its adverse effect on the image of the university.

This, the vice Chancellor explained, tends to discourage individuals from going into crop farming.

He however appreciated the intervention of the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedokun Gbadebo, for speaking with the Fulani community in Abeokuta, which had brought about change to the level of the menace.

On the Agricultural Institutions engaging in mass food production, the VC said that the core mandate of such specialised universities is not to fully engage in mass production of food, but to engage in agricultural research.

However, he explained that on the part of FUNAAB, the institution had been able to produce some cash crops such as maize, cassava among others and sell to its immediate environment under the Odeda local government axis in Ogun state.

”We are involved in food production, but not to the extent of feeding the whole of Ogun state, if we get the support from the government, we can do that, ” he added.

On staff development in the university, Salako noted that under his watch, no fewer than 217 staffers had been trained under the auspices of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

He maintained that in order to support further development of staff, the university does encourage staff that wish to aquire further academic and professional qualifications, to embark on such.

Speaking on managing the various University based unions, Salako said “It has always been dialogue”, noting that he always tell the unions during dialogue what he can afford to do.

He emphasized that there is always a solution for every problem during dialogue, where both parties would have to sit down and agree, but “We have to be sincere to ourselves,” Salako added.