Professor Peter Okuneye delivering his Lecture, while other dignitaries on the high table listen with rapt attention.
The non-performance of the agricultural sector and its decline as a major foreign exchange earner has been blamed on excessive and unnecessary formalities often adopted by policy formulators and executors in the country.
A don in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, Professor Peter Okuneye, disclosed this, while delivering the 1st Annual COLAMRUD College Lecture, held at the COLENG Auditorium of the University, last Wednesday.
In the Lecture titled, “The Persistence of Agricultural Formalism in Nigeria: Towards a Situated Radicalization of Agricultural Systems”, Prof. Okuneye decried the wrongful application of the various agricultural policies in the country, which he regretted had been persistent in the last 50 years.
This, according to him had led to “the consistent weakening of the agricultural sector, leading to food insecurity, youth unemployment, ageing agricultural workforce, poor funding of the agricultural sector, inconsistency in policies and failed policy implementation”.
With the hope of positive changes to come, Prof. Okuneye prescribed that policy makers should adopt a radical step at achieving the various goals of agricultural policies, in order to bring the country back to the era of food self-sufficiency and economic progress.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the event, Prof. Oluwafemi Balogun, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Prof. Segun Lagoke, noted that Nigeria suffered from food deficit in the midst of abundance, due to improper implementation of policies.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, Nigeria should rather be in the fore-front of food exportation to other countries, but lamented the experience of policy summersault, which he said, had stagnated desirable improvement in the country.
Highlighting the aim of the College Lecture, the Dean, College of Agricultural Management and Rural Development (COLAMRUD), Prof. Segun Apantaku, said, “it intends to bring to the fore, current issues in policy and administration, management, economics, extension, language and communication, rural development, sociological and general social issues in agricultural domain, among others”.
Prof. Apantaku added that the Lecture Series will serve as a forum for academics to show-case their research findings.
Present at the maiden Lecture were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Chryss Onwuka, scholars, and other dignitaries from all walks of life.