The Director, Community-Based Farming Scheme (COBFAS), Prof. Sunday Adigbo, has expressed his satisfaction over the ongoing yam harvest and sales by COBFAS. While describing it as a bumper harvest, the Director noted that the University was lucky to have been able to have a fruitful harvest this year despite the various challenges, stressing that the support from the University Management and staff members contributed to the success of the harvest.
“We planted November last year and it did well. Though we were faced with challenges like labour and stagnation of rain, we were still able to come out with bountiful harvest. There was cessation of rain between July 19 till around the second week in September, but we were still able to pick up when it finally rained. We were lucky, unlike other crops that were total failures, the yams had already been established before the cessation of rain”, he said. Prof. Adigbo noted that the huge financial support from the University Management was instrumental to the overall success of the harvest. He lauded members of staff of COBFAS for the team work and cooperation, stating that the harvest was successful because of their collective efforts and not a one-man’s job.
Speaking on what informed the sales of the yam, which he called ‘efuru’ yam of the Dioscorea alata species, Prof. Adigbo added that the yams were mature and ready for harvesting, stressing that they could not harvest earlier because there was glut in the market. Hence, they wanted to take advantage of the market by organising themselves first before the sales. He added that the prices of the yams were affordable, even though they intend to break-even and make profit for the University. He stressed that responses from the buyers so far have been encouraging, adding that as sales were ongoing, more yams were still being harvested. According to him, “The response we have received so far is encouraging because as we are still selling, some people are harvesting. Meanwhile, sales will continue until we finish harvesting and depending on how fast the sale is”.
He further revealed that COBFAS currently has about 1.2 hectares of yam plantation. In the same view, the Principal Agricultural Officer of COBFAS, Mr. Augustine Kuforiji noted that the ongoing yam sales was part of efforts by the centre to ensure food sufficiency following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. He stated that despite the great challenge posed by the pandemic and climate change, the centre was able to put in the necessary work to make sure there was enough food to satisfy the immediate needs of the people and the FUNAAB community at large. He expressed his satisfaction with the output of the harvest, stressing that their input commensurate with the output, while noting that though the yams would have been much bigger if there was enough rain.
“The input this year commensurate with the output even though we cannot give full assessment yet because we are still harvesting. Meanwhile, we should have had more and bigger products than this, but due to the climate change and the short fall of rain in the second quarter to the beginning of third quarter, we were a little bit challenged but the sizes we have seen so far are quite good and people have been patronising us”, he stated. Speaking on people’s perception about the prices of the yam, Mr. Kuforiji noted that before sales started, they had done their market survey and the prices at which the yams are being sold presently were good enough, adding that though some members of the University community were of the opinion that they should be given out for free. He, however, said that due to the prevailing economic situation, they have had a reasonable patronage by buyers, stressing that many people appreciated the efforts of COBFAS at bringing quality yam for them.
Mr. Kuforiji added that unlike other varieties of yams that were not good for pounding, the COBFAS yams are very good for pounding, adding that various testimonies attested to this fact. Corroborating the Principal Agricultural Officer, Mrs. Olubukola Ogunremila, Principal Accountant Officer of COBFAS, stated that the pricing was commendable, adding that people had been coming to patronise them. Another buyer, Mrs. Sokari Pedro, a police officer, commended the University for the opportunity and stated that she got to know about the yam sale through an online agricultural platform while the Boarding House Mistress, Senior Hostel of FUNAAB International School (FUNIS), Mrs. Olufunke Ogini appreciated the University Management for the initiative.
Last Updated on November 13, 2020 by FUNAAB