The Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment (CEADESE), led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kolawole Salako recently paid a courtesy visit to the World Bank Office, Abuja.
Giving a brief introduction about the Centre and the purpose of the courtesy visit to World Bank Office, Abuja, the Director, CEADESE, Professor Olukayode Akinyemi gave an insight into the focus of CEADESE basically on Teaching, Learning and Research Excellence in Agricultural Productivity in the face of climate change challenges.
In view of the above, Professor Akinyemi noted that CEADESE had developed post-graduate curricula that led to the training and graduation of students in Master and Doctoral degrees in Agricultural Development and Sustainable Environment in response to specific productivity challenges.
He further said that CEADESE had engaged in short term skills acquisition for industry stakeholders specialized workshops and internships, partnering with 18 regional and 13 international centres on more than 100 postgraduates research projects in six West African countries conducted with up-to-date research facilities.
Professor Akinyemi also buttressed on Research Project activities of the Centre, basing it on six of its disciplines such as Agricultural Economics & Environmental policy, Agricultural Mechanization & Sustainable Environment, Crop/Pasture Production and Sustainable Environment, Food Processing and Value Addition; and Environmental Systems and Climate Change.
The Director, CEADESE gave some statistics on level of graduate output of the Centre since inception and enumerated the success stories of the Centre in the following key areas of achievements, Graduate Output; Accreditation; Agricultural ACE Consortium and Internationalization.
Other key Researches and achievements listed are, Development of a machine for pelletizing poultry faeces into odour free organic manure; Development of a greenhouse unit for optimally cultivating Onion in Abeokuta, South West Nigeria; Identification of sub-1 QTL gene for submergence tolerance in rice; Genetic analysis of soybean response to storage stress; Development of fried Chicken nuggets from FUNAAB Indigenous broilers and Development of liquid-smoked Chicken sausages from FIB & Marshal broilers.
Further researches listed also include Development of yoghurt from milk of WAD goat; Development of biodegradable egg yolk colourant for laying birds; significant reduction in greenhouse gas emission from goat house; Delineation of salt intrusion pathways in the underground coastal water systems of Nigeria and Development of climate smart predictive models for Nigeria, Togo, Gambia, Liberia and Benin Republic.
He, however, stated the areas of Strength for possible funding to include, Climate Smart Agriculture; Safe and Sustainable Environment; Food Security; Clean water; Crop Pasture Production; Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals for community; ICT & Agriculture and Production of more Master and PhD graduates.
In addition, Professor Akinyemi gave an Insight into “where we are”, to justify CEADESE mission at the World Bank, office in Abuja. He listed the purpose of the visit to include, acknowledgement of the World Bank support; to Seek World Bank intervention for quick release of triggered funds and to ask for support beyond March 2020.
The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) CEADESE Team was welcomed by Ms. Aisha Garba Mohammed, the Education Specialist and African Centre of Excellence (ACE) Country Coordinator/Nigerian Higher Education Project and World Bank focal person for ACE Project.
In her response, Ms. Aisha Mohammed thanked and congratulated CEADESE on its recent achievements and commended the well developed presentation made by the Director.
She advised the Centre Leader, Professor Akinyemi, to be focused on Effective World Bank Projects while not neglecting the World Bank Pipeline Projects, and that there should be a link with stakeholders.
She appreciated the Centre for having both National and International accreditations of some of its programmes, while she advised CEADESE to prepare Journal/checklists of what CEADESE can do.
Ms. Aisha Mohammed also emphasized on Business Model Development for the Centre, while she asked if CEADESE has ever reached out to Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Felix Kolawole Salako in his response confirmed that the university is presently being supervised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The World Bank Focal person for Africa also advised that the Centre should organize a National Workshop on Agriculture and National Development, even up to inviting Agriculture Minister and other key stakeholders, which has to be given an extensive publicity through Newspapers, Televisions and other medium.
Arising from the discussions, she charged the Centre to come up with a strong business model and think on developing curriculum for Primary and Secondary Schools.
Ms Mohammed later took the Vice-Chancellor and the Centre Leader round the World Bank office for interactions with some specific task team leaders who are in charge of other projects within the Bank.
The CEADESE team also paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed, and the National African Centre of Excellence (ACE) Project Coordinator, Dr. Joshua Attah, in their offices at the NUC.
Briefing the Executive Secretary on the purpose of the visit, Professor Akinyemi reiterated the last visit of Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, to FUNAAB and CEADESE in October 2017, noting that the very hard observations he (The ES) raised and critical comments made during the visit helped the centre in making drastic adjustments in its operations which has led to its significant improvement.
He further appreciated the Executive Secretary for his candid observations and advice given to the Centre during the visit to FUNAAB and CEADESE
Responding, the Executive Secretary commended the incumbent Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kolawole Salako for his leadership qualities and supporting the Centre, noting that he has seen the synergy between the University Management and the Centre Leader which has engineered progress at the Centre. He equally commended the Centre Leader and the Director for taking CEADESE to its present enviable height.