By Daniel Dafe
The Peretomode-led management of Delta State University, Abraka, in collaboration with the University of Georgia, Fort Valley State University, USA and Shepherd-Care Orphanage Farm, has organized a one-day agro-preneur seminar.
The programme with theme: “Sustainable Modern Technology for Banana, Plantain and Cereals Production in Delta State, Nigeria’, and under the auspices of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES), DELSU, Abraka, took place at the 750 Lecture Theatre, Site III, DELSU, Abraka today.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Victor Peretomode, ably represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Professor (Mrs.) Grace Ogwu, said that he hoped the collaboration would yield the expected dividend in due course, adding that “the theme is apt and most appropriate in this era of food scarcity and increasing awareness about sustainable practices that develop/harness environmental resources for the benefit of humankind.”
According to him, “the management is excited about the collaboration, with the knowledge that the strength of a nation is measured by the quantum of its researches.”
Continuing, he said: “The rapid rise in human population in Nigeria has inflicted untold pressure on available arable land for agriculture which in most cases results in land degradation and subsequent soil fertility and attendant food shortage and scarcity.”
He added: “Crops such as plantain, banana and cereals which this seminar seeks to address could really become goldmines if strategically addressed in large production scale,” saying that the favourable weather and climate for these crops and suitable and capable arable lands are advantages.
Furthermore, he said it was his desire that the seminar will enhance the agricultural based programmes in the university.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Ag. Director, CES, Rev. Uyoyo Edewor, noted that “the demands for agro-preneurial strategies in a clime such as ours cannot be overemphasized.”
He said: “Even with government’s effort, you will agree with me that much needs to be done by both private and public institutions to attain the yearning need of adequate food on our tables.
“DELSU like the University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University can become an institution for agro-preneurship studies that can put food on the table, locally and internationally. Our farm experiments in the Centre are already in this direction.”
Papers presented at the seminar include: ‘Advanced Technology in Agriculture’ by Associate Prof. Cedric Ogden, Fort Valley State University; ‘Possible Institutional Cooperation: Sustainable Banana Production and Marketing in Nigeria’ by Professor Esendugue Greg Fonsah, University of Georgia; ‘Basic Soil Science and Soil Productivity: Experience from around the World’ by Professor Glen Harris, University of Georgia and ‘Crop Farming in Nigeria: Limitations and Prospects’ by Professor Fidelis Emuh, Head of Department, Agronomy and Wild Life of DELSU, Asaba campus.
Section 2 of the said event was a lunch and business session between the management, visiting scholars and selected agro-related entrepreneurial stakeholders in the university community to discuss strategies to implement advance agro-preneurship activities in DELSU.
Present at the programme were Professor Samuel Asagba, DVC, Administration; Mr. Dan Urhibo, Registrar; Professor Stephen Uwaifo, University Librarian, and a host of others.