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FUNAAB Dawning a New Day to Address Food Challenges

Published On:

July 2, 2024

By Emeka Oluka, Femi Dansu & Tofunmi Adebayo

The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) has embarked on a massive production of cassava, livestock, and other farm products to address food security challenges in Abeokuta, in particular, and Ogun State, in general.

Mr. Lawrence Kehinde of the Great Minds Farmers Cooperative fielding questions from the media team on the planting processes

Bearing as its core mandate of Teaching, Research and Extension Service, FUNAAB was awakened to the outcry on the rising cost of food, not only within its immediate environment but the nation at large.

To walk the talk, FUNAAB has embarked on an Agriculture Revitalisation Programme, aimed at producing crops which were showcased during a guided tour with a team of media men from the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Some of the farms toured under the guidance of the Ag. Director, Directorate of University Farms (DUFARMS), Dr. Emmanuel Bankole were the FUNAAB/NOLAP Cattle Ranch, boasting of tomato plantation and a 9-hectare maize farm, and the 2-hectare tomato farm which was established by the Farm Practical Year (FPY) students.

The tour also included the 25-hectare Irrigated Vegetable Farm, located on the FUNAAB/OORBDA boundary, which was established by some FUNAAB Alumni, known as the Great Minds Farmers Cooperative, and which boasts of varieties of crops, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, sweet corn, chilli peppers, and potatoes.

In addition, the team was led to the 4-hectare pineapple plantation; 2-hectare groundnuts farm; 8-hectare Maize farm and the Poultry Pen that houses the layers at the University Farms.

The media team also had a glimpse of mechanised farming at the University Farms when they visited the section that houses the tractors, planters, harvesters and other machines.

Speaking on behalf of the Great Minds Farmers Cooperative, Mr. Lawrence Kehinde at the 25-hectare Irrigated Vegetable Farm, located on the FUNAAB/OORBDA boundary, gave the reason behind embarking on the massive cultivation of tomatoes and other vegetables.

A section of the 4-hectare Pineapple Farm

Additionally, Mr. Olufemi Solarin, Head of the Crop Unit, and Mr. Oluseye Ogunlami, Head, of the Mechanised Unit, at DUFARMS, further expatiated on FUNAAB’s farming activities, and what the University wished to achieve within its limited resources.

In a similar tour on July 1, 2024, with media men at the livestock section where FUNAAB showcased its research effort with the breed of goat called Kalawad, the Deputy Director, Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), Mr. Olusola Marayesa, said that the Kalawad Breed was FUNAAB’s product of cross-breeding of Kalahari goat, a Red Breed goat sourced from South Africa and a local West African Dwarf Breed.

Mr. Marayesa expressed the commitment of the University to improve the quality of meat being produced for human consumption, especially with the Muturu Cattle Project, funded by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to boost the quality of meat with an improved breed of cows.

Earlier on that same day of July 1, 2024, the University harvested fresh cassava tubers from the 22-hectare Bio-Ethanol Cassava plantation with FUNAAB Integrated Venture (FIV) processing them into garri, fun, and odourless fufu, as well as selling to the public.

Some of the planting and harvesting machines at the Mechanised Section of DUFARMS

The Coordinator of FUNAAB Integrated Ventures (FIV), Mr. Adekunle Adeoti on his part shed light on the various agricultural projects of the University.

He said that FUNAAB has invested well in its Palm Oil Plantation, Sachet and Bottled water production, as well as other food processing plants.

Mr. Adeoti added that improved varieties of FUNAAB products such as Cassava, Tomatoes, Cashews as well as Palm oil and livestock were available for the local market as part of contributions of FUNAAB to ensuring food security for the nation under the leadership of the current Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Babatunde Kehinde.

Overall, the tour provided an insight into FUNAAB’s initiative that demonstrated its commitment to addressing food security challenges and promoting sustainable agriculture practices.

The poultry pen housing the layers
Ready to be harvested tomatoes on one of the Tomato plantations at the Alumni Farms
Market women harvesting the cassava tubers

Muturu cattle
Kalahari goat
Harvested tomatoes at the Alumni Farm
Tomatoes harvested at the FUNAAB/NOLAP Cattle Ranch
Harvested tomatoes at the FUNAAB/NOLAP Cattle Ranch

Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Olasunkanmi Olajide



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