The Guest Lecturer and Director, UNAAB CONSULT, Prof. Akin Omotayo addressing participants at the 1st UNAAB International Summer School programme in organic agriculture
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB) Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun has said that Organic Agriculture remained the only vehicle that can deliver quality and wholesome food to the teaming population worldwide.
Professor Balogun, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Professor Segun Lagoke made this known while delivering his welcome address during the opening ceremony of the 1st UNAAB International Summer School programme in organic agriculture.
Highlighting the aims of the workshop, Professor Balogun said the 11-day training workshop was aimed at impacting basic knowledge on principles and practices of organic agriculture, hands-on experience in organic crop, livestock and fish production, strategies and skills in marketing of organic produce and standard development for organic produce.
Furthermore, he also stressed that in view of the immense advantages derivable from Organic Agriculture, it had been recognized as one of the veritable tools for achieving the Millennium Development Goals relevant to two-third of the world’s poor living in marginal areas.
Frowning at the nation’s primary food producers (farmers), Professor Balogun noted that farmers were yet to key into this value–added opportunity to make substantial income locally and also export their produce to the continents where the demand is ever increasing.
He, therefore, recommended that this gap be bridged through local, national and international training workshops, in order to discontinue this unpleasant scenario.
Guest speaker at the workshop, Professor Akinwunmi Omotayo who gave the overview of the summer school pointed out that organic agriculture is a holistic production management system, which enhances agro-ecosystem health, utilizing both traditional and scientific knowledge.
Going down the memory lane, Professor Omotayo, the University’s Director of Consult said in 2004, UNAAB took the initiative to establish a project tagged “Organic Agriculture Project in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria (OAPTIN)” and to date, the project had successfully trained twenty three (23) agriculture graduates under the Work Earn and Learn Project (WELP).
The workshop, which has participants from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO); Federal College of Horticulture, Gombe State; University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), and Denmark was the first training workshop with an international outlook.