DIVIDENDS OF TOWN AND GOWN RELATIONSHIP: Traders Storm Maize Farm As FUNAAB Records Bumper Harvest

Published On:

September 9, 2021

Scores of market women have gathered at the ongoing maize market sales organized by the Community-Based Farming Scheme (COBFAS) to buy maize from the University.

The sales activities which has been ongoing for a while witnessed a lot of traders from various part of the State buying maize from the university at a discounted price.

Speaking on the University’s contributions towards alleviating food insecurity in the country, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako expressed joy with the ongoing sales, stating that he was happy that the University was able to engage members of the Community in the production and sales of maize.

According to him, “we are happy that the university is able to engage the community in terms of production of maize today and on other aspect. It is one of the things that we should do though we have been doing it for long, but this is another example of the fact that we are really working as a University of Agriculture”.

He disclosed that though it is quite an herculean task to feed the whole community, the university is not resting on its oars towards making a significant impact in the society.

“We can’t feed the whole community but we can only do our bit. We are a University, not a production institution and we want to have an impact one way or the other. We are glad that we are having that impact now and this impact is significant. Considering the quantity of maize that has been harvested so far, we are happy about it and we are still having more”, he said.

While speaking on the efforts of the Management towards improving farm activities in the University, the Vice-Chancellor disclosed that there has been a lot of improvement in mechanization and provision of logistic support, noting that since his inception as the Vice-Chancellor of the University in 2017, all operations on the farm have been mechanized.

Prof. Salako also condemned the recent venturing into farming by non-agric graduates, stating that it is disheartening to note that some people who are going into farming, are not agric graduates.

He, however, commended the Director, COBFAS, Prof. Sunday Adigbo for utilising the farm equipments effectively, stating that he is glad that the Centre has a Director with sound leadership as regards to agricultural production and training of students in order to expose them to see the value in agriculture.

“It can be very disheartening to note that some people who are really going into farming are not agric graduates. It is not ideal. However, we believe that with the type of training our students are exposed to, they should be able to see how much profit and money they can make while engaging in agriculture”, he said.

Meanwhile, Director, COBFAS, Prof. Sunday Adigbo while expressing his satisfaction with the sales disclosed that he was happy that the University was not just selling to traders at a discounted price but he is happy with the fact that they were creating job for them.

He disclosed that since the sales started, they have sold about eight hectares of maize at various locations on campus with about 9 hectares still remaining. He further revealed that over 200 traders have been patronising them daily and the traders have continued asking for more sales of maize because of the price it is sold to them.

Prof. Adigbo however stated that the Centre is not just aimed at making profit for the University but is majorly focused on training students on farming and making them realize that it is profitable, stressing that farming should also be seen as a business and not just as an activity.

According to him, “though the major goal is to make profit for the university because a lot has been invested on the project and we do not intend returning the exact amount given to us by the university but to trade with it and generate more revenue for the school. However, our ultimate goal is to train students on farming which is our primary assignment. Farming should be seen as a business and not just the training aspect. We want the students to know that they can make a living from it and profit as well”.

He appreciated the University Management for their support so far and pleaded for more support, stating that apart from the fact that they were faced with weather challenges, they need irrigation to enable them plant all year round irrespective of the presence or absence of rain. He stated that irrigation is needed so that it can be used to complement their effort, and so that they do not lose at the end of the day.

Commenting on the sales, Mr. Adenekan Usman Adebayo, an Agric Officer in COBFAS affirmed that they have been able to break even with the sales so far. He commended the market women for their cooperation and stated that even though some expected the produce to be given out free of charge, they have been able to cooperate with them.

He appealed to the management to help create a market place where the traders can come to buy maize directly without having to come to the farm.

Reacting to the sales of maize, the duo of Mrs. Gbadebo Olabisi and Mrs. Bisi Oyedele commended the management for their hospitality and the opportunity to keep patronising them. They disclosed that corn sales in FUNAAB is more cheaper and profitable than what is obtainable outside and prayed for more harvest for the school so that they can keep getting more commodities to sell and feed the society.

Similarly, Mr. Rasheed Ayodele Akanni, a transporter in the University and the godfather, Association of Corn Sellers in FUNAAB, while stating that he has always benefitted from the sales since the commencement in FUNAAB, encouraged the management to continue with the sales, stating that they all benefit from the sale activities.

Last Updated on September 9, 2021 by FUNAAB

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