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News Published in January 2017

ADVERTISEMENT FOR POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIPS

Type: Scholarship for Post Graduate programmes on Millet Sourdough Technology project.
Value & Duration
Students tuition fee and all operational costs will be met from a recently sponsored project by Building on the Successes of the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace (M-BoSs).
The scholarships will be for 30 months’ starting from May 2017 through to November 2019.
Available Programmes

  • Ph.D. in Food Processing and Preservation
  • Ph.D. in Food Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • Ph.D. in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • M.Sc. in Food Processing and Preservation
  • M.Sc. in Food Quality Control and Assurance
  • M.Sc. in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development

All the Ph.D. and M.Sc. Programmes are on full-time basis.
Project Overview
The M-BoSs project is to promote the nutritious and health benefits of millet sourdough and extruded snacks for sustainable food & nutritional security to improve livelihoods in West Africa. In the context of SDG 2 to achieve food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture, it is imperative to increase benefits from underutilized crops like millet, as there are facts that increased consumption of millet-based food is key to improving the nutritional status and reduce poverty in West Africa. Therefore, continued millet cultivation and utilization for improvement of the nutritional status of people in West African countries is important. Efforts to sustain millet processing for human consumption have been limited by poor post-harvest management and dearth of information on proven & sustainable processing technologies. Hence, this project seeks to showcase more nutritional benefits of processed products from millet grains through development, pilot scale demonstration, adoption and dissemination of innovative and adaptable sourdough technology in West Africa.
The Millet Sourdough project has four specialty areas which are Food Processing, Food Safety, Nutrition and Agricultural Extension. Graduate students are needed for research work in these listed field and study.

 Eligibility

The following eligibility criteria apply to this scholarship:

  • The scholarship is open to national and international candidates in the listed field.
  • Applicants must already have been awarded a Second-Class Honours degree or hold

            equivalent qualifications or relevant and substantial research experience.

  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate strong research and analytical skills.
  • Ability to both undertake independent research and also to work collaboratively

            within a team to achieve project objectives.

  • Demonstrated motivation and communication skills to participate in industry relevant

             research.
Knowledge and skills that will be ranked highly include:

  • Advanced chemical analytical technologies
  • Experience in field work
  • Cutting edge microbial population analyses techniques
  • Ability to handle dietary and anthropometric software packages
  • Statistical analyses

Closing date
February 25, 2017. Send your application to the Projector Investigator (PI) to indicate your interest.
How to apply
Interested applicants should submit the following documents:

  • A cover letter explaining your interest in the Scholarship programme. The field of interest should be the subject of the e-mail.
  • Signed C.V in pdf format
  • Certified scanned copies of all University degrees
  • Research Concept note (3-5 pages).

All applications for the Scholarship should be forwarded to the e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For further information/Enquiry:
Dr. OBADINA, Adewale Olusegun,
Director,
Biotechnology Centre,
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria.

… Becomes Oracle Member

The University has been accepted as an institutional member of the Oracle Academy. The Academy advances Computer Science education globally to increase knowledge, skills development, innovation and diversity in technology fields by supporting more than 2.2 million students, every year. The University would be working with thousands of member educational institutions across 105 countries.

    The institutional membership offers the University access to exclusive member benefits and resources to benefit the faculty, students as well as help make students to be College and career-ready with industry-relevant knowledge and skills. Benefits include: complete modularised academic curriculum in database design and object-oriented programming with Java, suitable for advanced secondary school students as well as university students both within and outside of Computer Science programs; Free educator professional development offered in a variety of formats to make learning engaging and convenient; access to oracle’s industry-leading software for use in teaching and academic, not for profit course and degree-related research and access to hosted oracle academy dorkspaces for database.

    Others are hands-on lectures and ‘Ask the Experts Webcasts’ and podcasts delivered by oracle experts in key technology areas, including big data, cloud computing, cyber security, business intelligence and visibility in the prestigious Oracle Academy Directory of Institutional Members, among others.

    Proposing a start-up fees for the University, the duo of Messrs Niyi Orisakiya and Oluseyi Babarinde of the Information and Communication Resource Centre (ICTREC), who are the instructors, stressing that the training was free from Oracle Academy, adding that students and staff of the University would pay N20,000 while outsiders would pay N25,000, only for the usage of the University’s facilities such as Internet, computer laboratory, cost of certificate, instructors’ emolument and miscellaneous. They further noted that the training would serve as another source of internally-generated revenue (IGR), for the University with an annual total projected income of 2.5 million to 3.5 million Naira when a set of 50 students were admitted for three month.

FUNAAB Agog for Fishing Sports Festival

It was a beautiful scenery and lively outing in the University during the maiden edition of its Fishing Sports Festival, held at the Fish Farm, Directorate of University Farms (DUFARMS) of the University. Speaking at the well-attended event, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, reiterated University Management’s drive at ensuring industrial harmony on campus through extra-curricular activities, adding that FUNAAB was very proud of the work that DUFARMS had been doing. According to him, “We are quite proud with the work that DUFARMS has been doing in the University in the past few years. Two years ago, the University sponsored some staff of DUFARMS to Songhai Farms, Benin Republic, to go and understudy what was happening there. Just some few weeks after their return, they were proud to invite all of us to come and see the model they were trying to build within the University. We were able to see their snailery and the pineapple plantation, which I believe have been yielding fruits in the past few months.

    Reminiscing on how the structure for the Fishing Sports Festival was built, the Vice-Chancellor said that “Last year, we were here to see the fish ponds that have been incorporated into the schedule of DUFARMS. I am glad that just a year after that, they have been able to improve on that initial innovation by building rafters upon the ponds so that facilities for fish sporting could be available in our University”. He, therefore, called on members of FUNAAB community to seize the opportunity of carrying out quality and extensive research.

    Corroborating the Vice-Chancellor, the Director of DUFARMS, Mr. Michael Jaiyeola, said that one of the major aims of the Directorate was to make the University attain a world-class status, noting that DUFARMS’ staff had been pursuing the attainment of such goals diligently. He further recalled a trip to the Songhai Farms, Republic of Benin with members of his team, where they had first-hand information on how to successfully run an integrated farming system. He stressed that there were different ventures interacting together on the same farm, adding that there was a zero-wastage practice system. According to him, “Nothing is wasted on the farm”.

    Mr. Jaiyeola said that the team came back and replicated what they saw, which included the Fishing Sports Festival. According to him, the competitors were timed and when the time was up, the fishes caught were weighed, noting that the competitor with the highest weight became the winner. The Director, however, stated that the maiden edition was free for all competitors but for the subsequent editions, the competitors would be billed, which would serve as a good source of income for the University. “Our intention is to make money. We would like to demonstrate how to make money. We would also like to encourage members of the University community, who have never been here, to please, find time to visit us regularly. There are a lot to learn. We want to satisfy your needs in terms of food. We would also like our researchers to find time to come, as there are facilities on ground to perform their researches and get good results”, he stated.

    Commenting on the health implications of the festival, the Director said it was a great reliever of stress, saying that it fosters better relationship among the University community members. Meanwhile, the DUFARMS Fish Farm has three main species of fish in the pond, which are mainly catfishes (Clarias sp), Tilapia and Heterotis niloticus. The catfishes cover three quarters of the population in the ponds. The ponds were basically for teaching and research. However, the particular pond that was used for the festival had never been harvested and fed before as they were purely gotten from wildlife.

    Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, during the Management Category of the competition, caught three fishes weighing a total of 2.2kg. Highpoint of the festival was the presentation of gifts to the overall winner under the Staff Category, Mr. Chiedu Ogbuagor, a postgraduate student; the First Runner-Up, Mr. Kazeem Makinde of the Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC); and the Second Runner-Up, Mr. Olasunkanmi Olajide of the Directorate of Public Relations of the University, while several consolation prizes were awarded to competitors at the colourful occasion.

Water, Most Important Natural Resource - Professor Awokola

A Professor of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering (COLENG) of the University, Professor Oluwafiropo Awokola, has described water as the most important natural resource needed by man in all ramifications; both among the rural and urban dwellers, as he called on various governments to make water availability, their priority.

    Professor Awokola, who is also a Certified Water Engineer with special focus in the areas of Open Channel Hydraulics, Analytical Hydrology, Hydrology Frequency, Hydrology Complication and Water Resources Management, said that his work had been based on the understanding that the flow regime of rivers is an essential parameter to be considered in the design of hydraulic structures; the realisation that in many developing nations, essential data are not available for most water resources engineering problems. He further stressed the need for adequate planning and development of water resources in the country to put less pressure on engineers, hydrologists and planners to analyse critically available data.

    According to him, water is life and suggested that to ensure quality water production, information about the weather, immediate environment’s sedimentary and rock formation were key. Speaking further on the provision of quality water to the people as one of the major challenges facing the government of the day, Professor Awokola said that various factor had led to shortage of water, such as population explosion, opening up of new locations and cases of new sites springing up in urban areas. This, according to him, had led to the shortage of laying and expansion of water pipes, which has led most of the new communities to be springing up and providing for themselves, reliable means of water supply. He added that power supply had also been another major factor militating against the provision of water such that most water stations had to run on generators for power supply by spending more on diesel to power the generators.

    On ill-functioning boreholes being drilled in major communities across the country and in some communities by some government agencies, Professor Awokola said that the only way to ensure that such was reduced is that government should set their priority right, engage the appropriate contractors with the right equipment and design to handle such jobs. He also charged the communities with such borehole to give proper monitoring and supervision in order to avoid mismanagement. He frowned at the situation where some policy makers sit in an office and merely make generalised decisions for the drilling of boreholes across the country without considering the geographical differences in the nature of the soil in various part of the country.
    The Don further explained that Water Resources Engineering is concerned with the analysis and design of systems to control water quantity, quality, distribution while water resources is related to water supply (utilization) with disciplines such as hydraulics, hydrology, surface water and groundwater (subsurface).

    According to him, “the development of water resources requires the conception, planning, design, construction, and operation of facilities to control and utilise water. Each water-development project encounters a unique set of physical conditions to which it must conform; hence, standard designs, which lead to simple handbook solutions can rarely be used. The special conditions for each project must be met through an integrated application of the fundamental knowledge of many disciplines”.

    He described the provision of potable water as a serious business, sharing from the experience he had while on the field interacting with the Town and the Gown in Ogun, Edo and Ekiti states, among others. He mentioned others to include World Bank Multistate Water Project; Ogun State Feasibility Studies, Preliminary Design of Water Supply Schemes to 17 centres covering all Local Government areas, Surface water quantity/quality appraisal of major streams in the state, Asejire Dam Monitoring and Hydrological Analysis of  Osun Basin, Baseline Survey for National Rural Water Supply Programme in Ogun State. The Baseline Survey Report defines the scope of work through identification of 400 project locations, all under Ogun State. Under the Edo State scheme, he was involved in the preparation of feasibility report on two existing water supply schemes and one new scheme for improvement of production and distribution of potable water to urban and rural areas of Edo State, with scope of work to prepare a bankable feasibility report with sufficient details to enable investment decisions to be made under the Benin-City Water Supply Scheme, Ojirami Dam Water Project for rehabilitation and completion alongside the Fugar-Agenebode scheme.

    Others include the preparation of feasibility report to study the nine existing water supply schemes for improvement of production and distribution of potable water to urban and rural areas of Ekiti State. Furthermore is the  need for additional systems, with the study of the following existing schemes that are classified into three catagories as the High Grade Water Supply Schemes, namely; Ero and Little Osse Water Supply Schemes, the Medium Grade Water Supply Schemes and others are found in Ado Ekiti and Itapaji Water Supply Schemes and Mini Water Supply Schemes in Ido-Ajinare, Okemesi, Efon Alaye and Ikere Water Supply Schemes, under the Ekiti State scheme. Professor Awokola added that his experience on the field had helped him to have something tangible to offer the students that he teach as a lecturer.

FUNAAB Gets Another International Offer

The University has recorded another feat with the signing of agreement between the AbdusSalam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Italy and its Department of Physics, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS). This time around, the opportunity that has come the way of FUNAAB is in recognition of the need for frequent and continuous contact between scientists working in related fields and fostering global contacts in the disciplines of Theoretical Physics,  Experimental Physics and Applied Mathematics.

    According to the Facilitator and Head, Department of Physics of FUNAAB, Professor Gboyega Adebayo, the centre offers federated institutes very useful programmes for their young scientific staff, post-doctoral and PhD students from institutes in developing countries the opportunity to attend meetings at ICTP or to participate in group activities. The main aim of the agreement between ICTP and federated scientific institute in developing countries is to enable young scientists, up to the age of 40, to participate in ICTP's scientific programmes, especially young faculty or those still being formed. The programme ensures that members of an ICTP federated institute can attend schools or workshops at ICTP taught by some of the best scientists in their fields and by giving young scientists the opportunity to communicate and create bonds with colleagues from around the globe.

    Federated institutes are selected through a procedure that takes place once a year and the number of awardees are determined by the availability of funds for the programme. Applications are examined by a relevant committee in each of the ICTP research fields. All eligible applications are carefully evaluated by the committees, which take into account, among other things, the applicant's qualifications; the standing of the Institute in its home country and in the region; the benefit of the programme to the affiliates; the benefit to the Institute in the context of its research objectives; and the benefit to the region.

    The committees report to the Head of the Office of Associates and Federated Institutes (OAF), by providing shortlists of candidate Institutes. The head of the OAF takes into consideration the recommendation of the committees, as well as other factors such as geographical diversity, gender balance amongst proposed affiliates and availability of funds, before making a final decision. According to agreement signed, scientists of the institute active in research would visit the centre at times and for period to be determined jointly by the institutions and the centre, which were jointly relevant to the field of specialisation of the individual scientists concerned.

Professor Shittu Wins ECOWAS Grant

Professor Adebayo Shittu of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD) of the University, has won an international grant to the tune of Euros 118,956 from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
   
Professor Shittu stated that a proposal titled, “Incentivising Adoption of Climatic Smart Practices in Cereals Production in Nigeria: Sociocultural and Economic Diagnosis”, was prepared by his team to apply for the funding in collaboration with the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Niger State, following the Call for Proposal on “Innovative Projects for Food and Nutrition Security in West Africa”, courtesy of the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF), Support Programme for Food and Nutrition Security in West Africa (PASANAO), with the funding assistance from the French Development Agency (AFD).
   
Professor Shittu noted that the nation-wide study sought to evaluate the socio-economic impacts of adopting Climate Smart Practices (CSPs), in maize and rice production, adding that it was also to Identify appropriate mechanisms by which wide-spread adoption of CSPs might be incentivised to stop or reverse land degradation, evaluate the restoration of ecosystem health, enhance livelihood outcomes and build resilience to climate change using the examples of rice and maize farmers in Nigeria, while the duration of the project is one year, which ends in October 2017.
   
The Professor Agricultural and Resource Economics further stated that members of his research team comprise Professor Oluwakemi Fapojuwo, Department of Agricultural Administration; Dr. Bolarinwa Senjobi, Department of Soil Science and Land Management; Dr. Thomas Fabunmi, Department of Plant Physiology and Crop Production; Dr. Dare Akerele, Department of Agricultural Extension and Farm Management; and Dr. Rahman Sanusi, also from AEFM. Others are Dr. Abiodun Obayelu and Dr. Elizabeth Oluwalana, from the Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC), while the collaborating scientists from NCRI include Dr. Saliu Tiamiyu; Miss Uduma Ugalahi; and Mr. Jude Eze.

FUNAAB Accounting Degree Programme Gets Full Accreditation

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), has fully accredited the Bachelor of Science Accounting degree programme being run in the College of Management Sciences (COLMAS) of the University. The position of ICAN was recently conveyed in a letter addressed to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole and signed by the Institute’s Deputy Director, Students’ Affairs, Mrs. Folake Olawuyi.
   
The letter reads as follows: “We are pleased to inform you that the Council of the Institute has approved full accreditation of the B.Sc Accounting programme of your University. The accreditation is for the duration of four academic sessions with effect from 2014/2015 academic session to 2017/2018 academic session. Please, note that only students that graduated within these academic sessions will enjoy the benefits of exemption as specified in the Institute’s syllabus. The next visitation to your institution would be due in (the) 2018/2019 academic session. To give effect to the decision of Council, the presentation of Accreditation Certificate would be held in April 2017”, ICAN had stated.
   
Sequel to the communication of the full accreditation status to the University, a meeting had been held between University Management and ICAN officials, led by its Team Leader, Professor Ishola Akintoye. Speaking at the event, Professor Akintoye expressed his appreciation to FUNAAB for the support accorded members of the accreditation teams to the University. He enumerated the benefits that would come the way of the University from the existing partnership to include granting of exemption to Accounting students in the ICAN examination and sponsorship of four PhD students from accredited institutions to further their studies.
   
Professor Akintoye, a Fellow of ICAN, added that First Class students in all fields of studies in the University would be sponsored by ICAN to the tune of N150,000 each, provided FUNAAB introduced such eligible students to the Institute, while the Department of Accounting in the University would be qualified to benefit from ICAN funds allocated for seminars and the hosting of Accounting Week, among others. The Vice-Chancellor was represented at the parley by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, who appreciated members of the accreditation team for the visit and gave an assurance that the University would always offer the required support and be open for collaboration with the Institute, as the ICAN Team Leader presented copies of the Accounting Syllabus to the University at the occasion.
   
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oyewole, has justified the establishment of the University’s College of Management Sciences, which was done about five years ago. The Vice-Chancellor stated this during the commissioning ceremony of a security desk and chairs donated by the College of Management Students’ Association (COLMASSA), to COLMAS in the University. The Vice-Chancellor, who was represented at the occasion by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Oluyemisi Eromosele, called for patience on the part of stakeholders, as the University was yet to receive any official directive from the government that the courses being offered by COLMAS should be suspended. The Vice-Chancellor assured members of staff of the College that the present crop of students in the College, as well as the newly-admitted ones in the 2016/2017 Academic Session were meant to run their courses till 2022.
   
Professor Oyewole lauded the efforts and generosity of COLMASSA to the College, saying that it was the first time college students would spend their fund judiciously, as he attributed the feat to the fact that they were truly management students, who should know a lot about fund management. He further appreciated the Acting Dean and staff of the College for the prompt processing of students’ results, saying COLMAS had grown to become a factor in the admission process of the University. He also recalled that out of the 17,434 applications received during the 2016/2017 admission exercise, about 10,500 applied to study in the College. The Vice-Chancellor encouraged members of staff of the College to keep working harder, saying all hands should be on deck to maintain the existing standards.
   
The Acting Dean of COLMAS had thanked the University Management for its usual support for the College, adding that the College would always key into the vision of the University, as he also extolled the virtues of his predecessor, Dr. Abiola Philips of the Department of Economics.  Speaking at the commissioning of the donated security desk and chairs, the President of COLMASSA, Comrade Ayodeji Oloruntuyi, appreciated the University Management and College leadership for providing the enabling environment for the Association to thrive.  He equally appreciated those that had contributed immensely to the success of the project, particularly, the team members, who he said the project had been dedicated to while thanking all for attending the ceremony.

We Need to Preserve Our Forests - Professor Agboola

To avoid desertification of forest and loss of resources in the country, special care must be given to seeds of timber and non-timber producing trees of the tropical forest and other economic trees so as to preserve them. A Professor of Botany and Plant Physiology in the University’s College of Biosciences (COLBIOS), Professor David Agboola, stated this while recounting his research findings on the problems of seed germination of Milicia excelsa (Iroko tree), Synsepalum dulcificum ‘Agbayun’ (The Miracle Fruit), Leucaena leucocephala, Ceiba pentandria (Silk Cotton tree) and Parkia Biglobosa (Locust Bean tree) Iru or Dawadawa (a local spice).
   
According to the University Don, he developed the interest for these trees, as a small boy growing up around his grandfather’s farm in his home town, Fiditi, near Oyo in Oyo State, which is the wet part of the Guinea Savanna, as he wanted to know more about these economic trees; how they were grown and what they were used for, adding that from time-to-time, he would observe how big lorries were loading woods of different trees and that one particular lorry could not carry the woods from a tree. His interest grew further, when he noticed that his grandfather guarded some of these trees very jealously and would not allow any forester to fell any of them, particularly, his Iroko tree, adding that his curiosity and the fact that he grew up in the farm, made him to study Botany instead of Zoology, which he had wanted to study.
   
Professor Agboola, who is also the Dean of COLBIOS, said that when he was starting his research, he went to the Forest Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan to see which of these seeds have problems, so that he could work on them, adding that he started with nine and later narrowed it to about six tree species. While working on the Iroko tree (Milicia excels), which he described as a large deciduous tree found in the rain forest and forest out-liners, in the savanna woodland areas that is widely known for its excellent timber, he found out that the problems confronting the germination of seeds and survival of the seedling of Millica excelsa include those of germination inhibitors, light requirement and insect attack.
   
He noted that the seeds have been found to be photo-plastic and in general, the germination of the seeds depended on the maintenance of a certain balance between growth inhibitors and growth promoters in the seeds. For conservation and sustainability, he said he oriented and treated the seeds, noting that without proper orientation, the seeds might be buried in the ground for years and they would not germinate. In addition, he said he studied Synsepalum dulcificum (‘Agbayun’); The Miracle Fruit, known as the most strange tropical fruits, which suddenly changes the taste-bud to be sweet after consumption, so that if lemon or other sour food is eaten immediately after the miracle fruit, the sour tastes again becomes sweet, as if sugar had been added. He noted that the fruit has a unique taste changing glycoprotein that inhibits the taste buds’ perception of sour taste and the sweet sensation lasts for about half-an-hour to a few hours. Professor Agboola said that there are two known species that carry miracle fruits; Synsepalum dulcificum with smaller-leaf version (with narrow leaves) and is somewhat slower growing plant, as well as Synsepalum subcordatum (Giant Miracle Fruit), which is a larger leaf variety that grows into a small tree.
   
The fruit is slightly bigger than those of Synsepalum dulcificum and is produced more profusely, especially in the first years with age while the fruit crop amount of these two species become about the same. He added that the plant starts fruiting when it is only one metre tall, produces fruit practically all-year-round, noting that in its native habitat, two large crops regimes are available after the rainy season. The mature trees bushes usually have few fruits hanging around all-year, adding that the seed produces fruits between two to three years and flowers around 30 to 45 days. The Professor of Botany said that for the ‘miracle’ tree to grow well, it must be planted under moist condition and shade, adding that the seed, being recalcitrant, dies after two to three days, after harvest.
   
According to him, its high economic value is in the medical and food industries, since it can help diabetics to eat sweet food without taking sugar. He also added that he had worked on another economic tree known as Parkia biglobosa, whose fruit or pod is the most widely-used and economically-important part of the tree, noting that its first fruits come after eight to ten years with about 20 to 25 pods, which grows from a single capitulum. The Don added that P. Biglobosa’s obvious usefulness include making of Dawadawa or Iru (a traditional spice), traditional medicines, glaze for ceramic pots, animal fodder, the stem and branches for firewood, charcoal, checking soil erosion and providing shade, as well as nutrient recycling.
   
Professor Agboola further disclosed that in the course of his study, it was clear that the hard seed coat or testa prevents seed germination. Germination of the seed occurs after the seed coat becomes permeable, saying that natural germination could occur from prolonged contact with water, chewing or ruminating by animals, mechanically-scarifying the seed coat and other things that could break the seed coat. To propagate seedlings, the seed coat could be pretreated in various ways to encourage germination by soaking seeds in hot water, treating seeds for up to 15 minutes with Sulphuric or Nitric Acid; all produced for good germination rates.
   
According to him, his work titled, “Effects of Orientation on Seed Germination”, won an award in India, noting that he painstakingly showed how to avoid dormancy problems in seed, how they could be treated and the right way to position the seed while planting, adding that seeds often do better when planted horizontally. The Dean disclosed that he also studied Ceiba pentandria, the silk cotton tree, which is mostly found in the Low-land Rain Forest and the Guinea Savanna zones. He added that in Nigeria, the tree produces a white wood useful in building industry and light furniture and silk cotton for stuffing pillows, upholstery, teddy bears, a good source of fertilizer and its oil for soap and paint production.
   
Additionally, he said he had studied Leucaena leucocephala, which is an exotic species introduced into Nigeria from South-East Asia. An important characteristic of the plant is its multiple uses in agricultural and forest-related production system and as a supplier of coal and firewood. It can also be used as forage, green manure, biomass production and snacks for human consumption. However, Professor Agboola noted that most of these trees were susceptible to insect infestations and were easily uprooted by rain and wind while clearing and burning of bushes, adding that with proper orientation and monitoring of the seeds and their growth, researchers had been able to increase their survival and availability.
   
Speaking on the importance of this research to mankind, Professor Agboola said that all the trees he had worked on had been quite beneficial to man as they serve as timber for building, making strong canoe, farm tools, wood slippers, erosion control, helping to check desertification in the country, recycling of nutrients in the soil by serving as a source of revenue and helping to reduce ecological problems. He highlighted some of the achievements recorded in his research to include getting solutions to solve some of the problem facing economic plant, adding that he had been able to replicate himself through his students and had produced good lecturers locally and in foreign countries.
   
The Dean lamented that despite the milestones recorded in his research, there were still many challenges facing the study such as funding, adding that there were not enough grants like those of their counterparts in South Africa, stating that there were little or no instruments, not enough manpower as many people do not seem to want to venture into the area of Botany but would rather go to other money-spinning disciplines. He further added that research in Nigeria had a lot of problems such as: funding not being readily available and the breakthroughs achieved dying under custody, noting that the government was too centralised with a lot of corruption cases without adequate checks and balances, whenever funds were released by ensuring that they get to farmers and other genuine recipients.
   
Professor Agboola also recommended that the government should ensure that the funds go directly to the universities for proper monitoring, saying that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and Direct Teaching and Laboratory Cost (DTLC) should cater for equipment in the laboratory with monitoring team and less middlemen. He commended TETFund for its interventions, noting that such successes lie in the fact that there were not much intermediaries. The award-winning researcher advised upcoming researchers to see the future as bright, adding that they should not be afraid but rather know that hardwork pays, charging them to always remain focused.

Don Showcases the Power of Mathematics

A Professor of Mathematical Analysis, Department of Mathematics, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS) of the University, Professor James Oguntuase, has said that Mathematics helps in finding solutions to problems and in particular, Hardy Type Inequalities, which play a key role in this regard, because they are basically the celebration of averages that are very useful in all areas of human life.


Professor Oguntuase, who is a Fellow of the Nigerian Mathematical Society (FNMS), stated this while discussing some of his research breakthroughs in Mathematical Analysis, with special focus on the Theory of Inequalities. According to him, his research interests include Gronwall Type Inequalities, Hardy Type Inequalities, Integrodifferential Inequalities, Convex Functions and Inequalities on Time Scales.

The Don said his research on Gronwall Type Inequalities started in 1990 when he wrote his M.Sc Thesis on Gronwall-Bellman Type Inequalities. He noted that Gronwall Inequalities are used to establish bounds on differential and integral equations. Furthermore, they play a vital role in finding the existence, uniqueness and stability of solutions of differential and integral equations. He noted that he had written many highly-cited papers in books and reputable international journals in this area of research. Professor Oguntuase, who is the immediate past Chairman, Publications Committee of the University, further added that he had done a lot of research on Hardy Type Inequalities.
   
He added that this area of research started more than 100 years ago (In 1915, as G.H. Hardy needed an estimate for the arithmetic means in his 1920 classical paper). The Don informed that his late supervisor, Professor Christopher Imoru, introduced him into this area of research during his Ph.D work at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, saying “I was inspired by the great work he has done in this area of research and also a lot of research materials he made available to me”. The Don further said that he was also motivated to work on Hardy Type Inequalities because of the rich research materials he received from Professor Lars-Erik Persson (Of Sweden) and Professor Alios Kufner (Of Czech Republic). “Indeed, the two of them made the drafts of their book on the subject-area available to me both in soft and hard copies. I was opportune to meet with the above eminent professors during the 2006/2007 Academic Session when I was in Lulea, Sweden, under the Swedish Institute Guest Fellowship for research. The meeting made us to do some collaborative research and also provided me with opportunity to serve as external examiners to two of their Licentiate students. One of the best research works that I did with Professor Lars-Erik Persson was ‘Refinements of Hardy Inequalities for Superquadratic and Subquadratic Functions’ and this work was published in the Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications. This work is the first known application of Hardy type Inequalities for Superquadratic and Subquadratic Functions. This paper is significant in that it was the paper in the literature to have a turning point of Hardy Type Inequalities at Point p=2, instead of the usual Turning Point p=1.  Another significant results obtained (which would appear in 2017), is on a Limit Hardy Type Inequalities with three sharp constants at the left sides of the integrals. In fact, this is the only paper in the literature on Hardy Type Inequalities with this property”, he added.
   
Speaking further, Professor Oguntuase, who is a 2003 Young African Mathematician Award holder, said that he also worked on Integral Inequalities such as, Gronwall, Gronwall-Bellman-Bihari and integrodifferential inequalities. According to him, these Integral Inequalities were studied on the real line and in some cases, they are studied in Rn. Professor Oguntuase, an alumnus of the University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and the Obafemi Owolowo University, Ile-Ife, also stated that during his Master’s degree at OAU, Ile-Ife, he was motivated to work on the Theory of Loops. He said he was equally able to publish papers on the Theory of Loops because of the way Professor Adewale Solarin, another expert in the profession, handled the course called Non-associative Algebric Systems, during the M.Sc. programme.
   
Highlighting some of the achievements of his research, Professor Oguntuase stated that research in Mathematics was for solving problems. He said that he had worked in the area of analysis, which involved abstract-thinking where theorems, lemmas, corollaries, axioms, among others, were needed in establishing results, noting that this area of Mathematics is called Pure Mathematics and that the results were then used by the Applied Mathematicians, Engineers and Economists in finding solutions to their models and also to help them know if solution would exist or not.
   
The Professor of Mathematical Analysis explained further that his reason for focusing on Mathematical Analysis was that it could help to develop people’s mental reasoning and also allows for clear judgment in any situation. He observed that in Pure Mathematics, which involves a lot of abstractions, one could obtain results without actually knowing where it would be applied, noting that somebody could come up later and find the applications for the result.
   
According to Professor Oguntuase, Hardy type inequalities were very useful in studying and predicting stock exchange because of the variable limits in the Hardy Integral Operators, adding that “if you are an Engineer, you can go to the field and get your model, which is like a differential equation, but the Mathematician can tell you what you need in order to find the solution”. He added that “when an engineer has problems in building or construction, mathematicians would assist them in knowing what a particular beam can carry in order to reduce collapse of buildings or bridges”. He noted that it is usually required that Engineers should have good knowledge of Mathematics, adding that in Medicine; in the area of Mathematical Biology; which deals with sickle cell patients, they could develop modern solution that can help predict when the next crisis would occur, so that the crisis can be averted. He added that Mathematics is all-embracing, as it helps in national planning, budget planning, academic planning, even for wives at home and in every facet of life.
   
Speaking on the challenges being encountered, Professor Oguntuase lamented that in this part of the world, Mathematicians are not appreciated, noting that there was the problem of funding, alleging that he had never received any grant for research from FUNAAB. He added that he was fortunate to get grants from the Swedish government, where he got a one-year research scholarship and this had made him to record a major breakthrough in his research. He noted that while he was in Sweden, he was provided with everything he needed such as computers, printers, books, journals, constant electricity, workshops and conferences sponsorship, adding that he was also lucky to have won the 2002 Mathematics Research Fellowship of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy, which also contributed a lot to his career development.
   
Professor Oguntuase, who had been a Senior Associate of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (2010-2015), said that his research work improved during this period and would always be grateful to the Centre. He was also given the grant by the International Mathematical Union (IMU), to attend the World Mathematical Congress in India. The Congress was organised for Mathematicians every four years, adding that the last one was held in 2014, in South Korea while the next one would hold in Brazil, in 2018. Professor Oguntuase noted that he was lucky to have gotten most of his grants through external assistance, as he had always been invited, almost every year, to the Bouchet School at the University of Ghana, Legion, Ghana, since 2006. He revealed that another factor that helped him to overcome the numerous challenges facing Mathematicians was the intervention by the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja where he was invited, more than 12 times, during his postgraduate studies. According to him, such foundation postgraduate and research-oriented programmes actually prepared him for research, saying “the fact that resource persons usually come from Europe, United States of America, Australia, among others, encouraged us, coupled with the fact that transport, accommodation, feeding and stipends were always provided, helped us to concentrate in our studies”.
   
The Don, therefore, recommended that the repositioning of the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja to serve as a Centre of Excellence for Mathematics research in Nigeria, where Mathematicians, both young and old, would turn to for the latest work in their various fields of research, to find solution to the various problems in the society. He further observed that Mathematicians are endangered species, who must be encouraged. He stated that in the 1980s and 1990s, young Mathematicians were invited to the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja for four weeks to be trained in Foundation Postgraduate and Research Oriented Programmes, respectively; free-of-charge. I am a beneficiary of such programmes and many Professors today are products of such programmes. But today, things have changed as young Mathematicians are now required pay money to visit the Centre. He also suggested that, government should make a legislation, whereby Mathematics graduates, especially, First Class graduates, would be given employment in the University to teach Mathematics and they should start as Assistant Lecturers, adding that Mathematics teachers at all levels should be given an enhanced package, in order to encourage more people to study Mathematics.
   
Furthermore, he recommended that favouritism in the posting of teachers in secondary schools should be curbed, alleging that government officials often influence posting of teachers, so that their wives and relations would not be posted to rural areas, thereby, making the rural areas devoid of qualified teachers, particularly, those that are degree holders. He also called on the University to allocate special fund to the research works of Mathematicians, because the only laboratory they have, are conferences and workshops. The Don suggested that universities should give Mathematicians special allowances and also make the entry point for Master’s holder to be Lecturer II. Furthermore, “the University should, as a matter of duty, sponsor the Ph.D of young Mathematicians, adding that this would encourage them to be focused and stay in the University to make their own positive contributions to its development”, he stated.
   
Professor Oguntuase, an alumnus of the University, having bagged a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Sciences, revealed that he had cooperated with more than 23 researchers from over 13 different countries, noting that a researcher should be able to spread out to other places in order to publish good papers in reputable journals.
 

FUNAAB Don Wins ECOWAS Grant

Professor Adebayo Shittu of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD) of the Federal University of Agricultural Abeokuta (FUNAAB), has won an international grant to the tune of Euros 118,956 from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Professor Shittu stated that a proposal titled, “Incentivising Adoption of Climatic Smart Practices in Cereals Production in Nigeria: Sociocultural and Economic Diagnosis”, was prepared by his team to apply for the funding in collaboration with the National Cereals Research Institute (NCRI), Badeggi, Niger State, following the Call for Proposal on “Innovative Projects for Food and Nutrition Security in West Africa”, courtesy of the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF), Support Programme for Food and Nutrition Security in West Africa (PASANAO), with the funding assistance from the French Development Agency (AFD).

Professor Shittu noted that the nation-wide study sought to evaluate the socio-economic impacts of adopting Climate Smart Practices (CSPs), in maize and rice production, adding that it was also to Identify appropriate mechanisms by which wide-spread adoption of CSPs might be incentivised to stop or reverse land degradation, evaluate the restoration of ecosystem health, enhance livelihood outcomes and build resilience to climate change using the examples of rice and maize farmers in Nigeria, while the duration of the project is one year, which ends in October 2017.
The Professor Agricultural and Resource Economics further stated that members of his research team comprise Professor Oluwakemi Fapojuwo, Department of Agricultural Administration; Dr. Bolarinwa Senjobi, Department of Soil Science and Land Management; Dr. Thomas Fabunmi, Department of Plant Physiology and Crop Production; Dr. Dare Akerele, Department of Agricultural Extension and Farm Management; and Dr. Rahman Sanusi, also from AEFM. Others are Dr. Abiodun Obayelu and Dr. Elizabeth Oluwalana, from the Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC), while the collaborating scientists from NCRI include Dr. Saliu Tiamiyu; Miss Uduma Ugalahi; and Mr. Jude Eze.

C: AVA II Hosts AMBCN

The Cassava Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA II) Nigeria team, recently hosted the executives of the Association of Master Bakers and Confectioneries of Nigeria (AMBCN), to evaluate the current status of High Quality Cassava Flour (HQCF) usage in the baking and confectionery industries.


Welcoming the executives of AMBCN and representatives of the Nigeria Cassava Processors and Marketers Association (NCAPMA), the C:AVA II Nigeria Country Manager, Professor Lateef Sanni, said that he was enthusiastic and delighted at meeting with the new executives of AMBCN. The Don, who is also the Dean, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC) of FUNAAB, added that one of the goals of C:AVA II Project was to facilitate the trade of bakers and confectioneries makers. He advised the newly-elected President of the Association to do more of regional activities that would facilitate trade and laudable achievements.

Speaking earlier, the C:AVA II Project Director, Professor Kolawole Adebayo, said that he was happy to be identified with the AMBCN, as he enumerated the regions where C:AVA II was operating, while assuring the AMBCN executives that much more could be done with cassava in Nigeria than other countries, for the fact that the country happened to be the largest producer of cassava in the world. He added that the inclusion of cassava flour in both bread and confectioneries had been proven to be more economical and profitable. Professor Adebayo, who doubles as the Director, Grants Management of the University, expressed the willingness of the C:AVA II Project, in conjunction with FUNAAB, to assist master bakers in enhancing the use of HQCF in the making of bread and other confectionery products as well as the provision of technical assistance.

Responding, the National President of AMBCN, Mr. Dominic Turi, thanked C:AVA II Project team for hosting the executives of AMBCN. He emphasised that the Association had achieved a lot through the support of the CAVA Project, such as in the training on HQCF inclusion in bread-making, as Mr. Turi reiterated that cassava bread had come to stay in Nigeria. At the meeting, the demonstration of 10 per cent HQCF inclusion in bread-making was held, at the FUNAAB Bakery.

 

FRSC Boss Commends FUNAAB

The Assistant Corps Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Williams Charles, has commended the University for its various achievements, saying that it had lived up to its name. Mr. Charles noted that the Directorate of Works and Services of the University, has promoted good maintenance culture “when it comes to the real safety equipments that are meant to be in vehicles, as well as keeping the vehicles in good shape”.


The FRSC boss, who recently visited the University alongside officers of the Commission, stressed that their mission was to carry out the Annual Inspection and Certification Programme in line with the National Road Traffic Regulation of 2012, as he disclosed that any government, private, religious or corporate organisation with a minimum of five vehicles, must register as a fleet operator in Nigeria. Explaining the rationale behind the registration as a fleet operator, he stated that “in registering as a fleet operator, it means you have keyed into the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme (RTSSS), which entails the following: an established safety unit that is manned by certified safety manager; possession of road-worthy vehicles that have met the Minimum Safety Standards; and trained drivers that are qualified and licensed to operate safely on the road.

He added that the purpose of the Annual Inspection and Certification Programme was to check if the fleet operators were meeting up with the safety standards stipulated by the RTSSS. According to him, “during the inspection, three things were inspected and certified: do the vehicles meet the minimum safety standard? Do the drivers meet the minimum safety standard? And does the operator meet the minimum standards for the vehicles and drivers, to optimally operate?

Shedding light on the activities of the Commission, he revealed that if an organisation does not meet the above-mentioned standards, going into enforcement should be the last step. “First of all, you need to enlighten and educate before enforcing”, he added.  Commenting on the stickers placed on the vehicles, he said that it implied that the vehicle had been inspected and met the minimum safety standard. He, however, said that if deficiencies were recorded in a vehicle, no sticker would be placed on it until it had met the right standard, as the sticker would last for a year.

On the certification of a car to be road-worthy, he disclosed that the task of testing the road worthiness of a car rests on the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs), while the FRSC was concerned with issues of vehicles meeting the minimum safety requirements. He stated that the check-list goes as far as checking the floor of the vehicle to know if it is hazardous to the occupants and if the head-rest of the seats were adjustable or not. Other responsibilities include ensuring that vehicles had seatbelts, head/rear lights, wipers, tires, sound chassis and first-aid box, which were always missing from most of the vehicles.  He stressed that all roads in Nigeria were public roads used by road users such as animals, cyclists, pedestrians, motor-bike operators, among others.

 Enlightening the staff on what should be found in a first-aid box of a vehicle, Mr. Charles said that such requirements, based on the highway code, include: disinfectant, bandage, plaster and other materials that could be used before getting to a qualified doctor in case of an emergency, pointing out that reckless driving habits were common among some uniformed men and drivers of corporate organisations, whose vehicles often break the rule of illegal overtaking. “We exercise what we call preferential enforcement or Roll Call of Shame, whereby a marked vehicle driving against traffic would be shown. We also have flying ticket whereby we record the plate number, the day, time and route and this ticket (on University staff vehicles), which would be handed-over to the Vice-Chancellor, who would, in turn, handle the issue internally. Sometimes, to avoid fracas and endangering other road users, we let it go; to take administrative processes”.

On the Speed Limiting Device, he said that by law and under the National Road Traffic Law, all vehicles on Nigerian roads were supposed to be installed with the device, adding that the law had been on for a long time, but FRSC had not enforced it until now that the alarming rate of crashes were caused by over speeding, where lives were lost and the country was gradually losing people of the productive age. “So, as a responsible government, installing such devices has to be ensured and that currently, for the first phase of this exercise, it is limited to commercial vehicles and fleet operators and based on its success, it would be installed in more vehicles”, he stated.

He said further that FRSC had always sustained the vigorous and comprehensive public enlightenment and education programmes, using all forms of media, such as the social media, print media, television and radio regularly. He, therefore, gave kudos to such the public enlightenment efforts, which had made people to now know that tyres expire by encouraging motorists to try as much as possible to buy new tyres, adding that “at the end of the day, the time a brand new tyre would last for your vehicle takes a longer period than that of a used tire”.

Present at the meeting were the Chief Driver of the University, Mr. Haruna Adekunle; Senior Technical Officer, Works and Services, Mr. Bamidele Rasaq and the Deputy Route Commander, Mr. Dada Adeyemi. Others were the Assistant Route Commanders, Mr. Adigun Samuel; Mr. Aju Peter and Road Marshal I, Mr. Ajao Uthman. 

 

DAAD Scholarship for FUNAAB

The University has been selected by the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD), the German Academic Exchange Service, as one of the universities eligible for the in-country and in-region scholarship programme in the West and Central African regions. 

According to the Director, Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment (CEADESE), Professor Okanlawon Onagbesan, with the award, the University would be eligible to host about 100 students from Nigeria and the region during the 2017-2019 Academic Years. The scholarship would be fully funded by DAAD to the tune of 100,000 Euro per student, per year. Out of the many applications, FUNAAB was chosen from 13 institutions following a thorough review by the selection committee, which was made up of university Professors and scientists.  

 

Call for Memorandum

The Governing Council, at its 91st Meeting, approved the constitution of a High-Powered Committee of the Governing Council to Investigate the Lingering Industrial Unrest and Tension  in the University. The Committee has the following as its terms of reference: to investigate and identify the remote and immediate causes of the unrest and tension in the University; to identify institutional and structural factors responsible for the unrest; to identify any other predisposing factors in the unrest; to recommend immediate measures for rectifying the current situation; to recommend lasting measures and strategies for conflict-resolution at the University; and to make other recommendations, which may be germane to the maintenance of order and good governance at the University. Consequently, members of the University community have been requested to forward memorandum that will assist the Committee in their assignment in a power-point (Bullet form) presentation to the Secretary of the Committee on or before Friday, January 6, 2017, at Room C206, Senate Building, FUNAAB. 

 

Farming, a Serious Business, Says Professor Adewumi

The practice of farming in the 21st Century has been described as a serious business that needs financial support, mechanised aid and requires the use of manpower under a comfortable atmosphere so as to thrive. This submission was made by Professor Kayode Adewumi, a Professor of Soil and Water Engineering and the Dean, College of Engineering (COLENG) of the University. Professor Adewumi said that presently, people were no longer interested in farming because nobody wants to bend their back tiling and clearing the soil. According to him, majority of people that have the money for farming would prefer to go into fishery, piggery and poultry farming which require less energy to carry out.

According to him, “Old farmers that we have today barely farm to sustain their families, people are not comfortable with the drudgery in the physical production of crops”. Based on this, he called on the government to open up large hectares of land in every geo-political zone and practice mechanised farming. This arrangement should be carried out in every local government, with required equipment, tractors, combine harvester among others and every year, monitor what every local government is producing. He charged the government, its agricultural agencies and individual farmers to be engaged and be committed to crop farming in order to get out of the problem of unforeseen poverty in the future.

While making reference to FUNAAB, he said the University had got everything to thrive on and be in the fore-front of crop production that should be able to feed Abeokuta and beyond, if money was made available to it. Sharing his research works and its benefit to the environment, Professor Adewumi said he had worked on the Drip Irrigation Project, a 3-year and N36 million project, funded by the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), which is meant to conserve water for crop production.

He also revealed that under his supervision, irrigation software had been written in the name of FUNAAB, and is waiting to be patented such that any one that wishes to write or use it will get University’s permission. The Dean also said that a lot of research work had been done on FUNAAB soil, where it was discovered that the University soil is about 87 per cent sand, which led him and his team to carry out soil conservation in order to still keep it in good shape.


“We are hoping for FUNAAB dam, and this has led us to write proposals to the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for the establishment of a dam. If we have a dam, it will take care of irrigation and FUNAAB will be able to crop throughout the year, researches will thrive, students will benefit and the surrounding communities will be making booking ahead for farm produce with the University”, he said. In addition, he noted that building a dam is not a small project, saying a group of consultants had come to carry out survey on where to site the dam, while the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA) would assist in presenting the project on behalf of the University.

Professor Adewumi said the University had made efforts within its powers to solving food problems. This, he said, informed Management’s decision in sponsoring delegates to the Republic of Benin to understudy a one-man farm that had become a source of tourist attraction to many, who often visited the country. The outcome of that visit, according to him, was that it transformed the Directorate of University Farms (DUFARMS) into a big office in FUNAAB. On returning, he said proposals were written and designs were made on how to extend more on what they saw, but the University was limited by funds. “If we had been able to execute the plan, the University would have been producing at larger quantities and supplying, but the little we could do is what we see in DUFARMS now”, he stated.

As a soil and water expert with penchant for irrigation for sustained cropping, he said the real farmers were those who engage in crop farming. He described the Nigeria land as a blessed one where irrigation can be practiced in any part of the country, drawing examples from the nation of Israel; Professor Adewumi said irrigation was their (Israelis) main source of livelihood, which they practiced successfully considering their type of land. He went further  r to stress that if irrigation was to be fully practiced in Nigeria, the divers nature of the country should be considered, as much money will be spent in the Southern part of the country for clearing before irrigation can be carried out unlike the North where less will be spent, considering the nature of the land.

As a way of helping the country to get out of food crisis in the nearest future, Professor Adewumi said the government should make agriculture its priority. According to him, “If agriculture is the priority of the leaders, something meaningful will be done. Everything depends on the individual that is there, to make it work at the end of the day”. He also frowned at what he described as the over-dependence on government for everything as it is obtainable in the country, noting that “The orientation they gave us in the country is that they have made us to be living on government”. Finally, he charged the government to empower the teeming youths to go into agriculture by providing the necessary mechanisation to work with.