To cushion the effects of the looming Post COVID-19 hunger that may arise, the University, through the Community-Based Farming Scheme (COBFAS), has engaged in large-scale crop production. Shedding light on the initiative, the Director of COBFAS, Prof. Sunday Adigbo disclosed that “The project was designed by the University Management to cushion the effects of COVID-19 hunger that is about to befall the country”. According to him, “We are into academics. Right now, academics is not ongoing but we can produce. People have often asked what does this University stand for? So, this is what we are trying to show”.
A yam plantation embarked upon by COBFAS.
Speaking further, the Director explained that as patriots, FUNAAB is set to cushion the effects of the looming Post COVID-19 hunger by engaging in massive crop production. He disclosed that 15 hectares of maize had already been planted and another 13 hectares of land was being prepared that would bring the total land available for maize cultivation to 28 hectares. In addition, 1.2 hectares of land has been cultivated with yams, 25 hectares of (NERICA 8 improved rice variety plus 10 hectares and 15 hectares for Ofada rice) as well as tomatoes and pepper, respectively.
The Director revealed that these were achievable through mechanised farming, saying “If Nigeria must survive and be food-sufficient then, it must go into mechanisation as hoe cannot do anything. We have been able to achieve this because we have gone fully mechanised and that is our priority and short-time objective”. Prof. Adigbo appreciated the University Management for the trust reposed in him and all the support he had received since his appointment as Director of COBFAS, adding that when he came on board, he was able to convince management, which had supported the scheme with funds, tractors and implements to achieve large scale farming.
A maize plantation cultivated by COBFAS.
Prof. Adigbo said that sustainability would not be a problem once the project is able to break even. According to him, last year’s achievement was a product of what is on ground this year. “So if by this year we are able to generate more money, the University would be glad to release funds. I am sure the next Director would want to try his best. If he cannot expand, he would maintain what he met on ground. So sustainability would not be a problem”, he said. He stated further that agriculture is the future of the country and supported his position by quoting a verse in the Bible, which says that “A man that cannot provide for his household is worse than an infidel likewise a nation that cannot provide for its citizens is not organised”. The Don added that food is a weapon of war and that agriculture is the future of the country, maintaining that until we go back to agriculture, the future of the country is very bleak while advising the youths to embrace agriculture.