Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), through the Department of Horticulture, has held the Fascination of Plants Day (FoPD) 2019, with the theme, “Plant Sustainable Environment, Health And Livelihood”.
Welcoming everyone to the 2019 edition of the event, the National Coordinator, FoPD Dr. Olusegun Olubode stated that the aim of the program is to bring together as many as possible around the world, people that are fascinated by plants and enthused about the importance of plant for agriculture and sustainable production of nutritious food, as well as Horticulture, Forestry, and Production of plant-based non-food such as paper, timber, and the likes.
The coordinator stated that, three countries in Africa are participating in the programme and they are Ethiopia, Mozambique and Nigeria while Zambia is among the participating sister organization.
Dr. Olubode noted that in South-West Nigeria, most plants have been “Classified as lost crops or endangered species for which it behooves on all stakeholders to work together to preserve and bring into limelight for the purpose of the future generations, and preservation of the genetic components for research, and continued propagation and production to make available for the development of our industries and as trade commodities.
He appreciated the contribution of various stakeholders such as the National Centre for Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (NACGRAB), Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme (OGADEP) among others to the programme.
He also appreciated the Vice-Chancellor, FUNAAB Prof. Kolawole Salako for his immense contribution towards the success of this year’s programme, and thanked the Deans of Colleges and all Heads of Departments and Units in the University for their encouragement, support both morally and financially.
Representing the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako, the Dean, College of Plant Science and Crop Production (COLPLANT) Prof. Mufutau Atayese in his address welcomed everyone present at the programme. He said he was delighted to see heads of different organizations coming together to share, compare notes and showcase rare plants of diverse nature.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, plants play an important role in the life of mankind. Apart from being the primary producer of food, feed, fiber, it also produces industrial raw materials. He registered his dismay over the loss of our heritage by the genetic erosion through the inability to pass to new generation the highly valued plants of yesteryears described either as lost crops or highly endangered species.
The Vice-Chancellor posited that bringing such plants into limelight will give plant researchers the opportunity to think the way forward in the preservation, utilization, and manipulation for better and additional benefits to mankind.
He wished every participant a happy deliberation and blissful enjoyment of sharing rare plants at the exhibition ground.
Papers were delivered by notable scholars and professionals on plants and their benefits to mankind and his environment.