Don urges Polytechnics to include modern Agricultural technology in curriculum.
Idris Ahmed, Lokoja.
To accelerate a successful fight against hunger, due largely to acute shortage and high cost of food in the country, a University Don, Professor Joseph Ita Omada, of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has urged Polytechnics to include modern Agricultural technology in their curriculum.
Prof Omada gave the advice on Friday at the 4th combined Convocation ceremony of the Kogi state Polytechnic, Lokoja, while delivering a lecture titled “providing food security:The role of Nigerians Polytechnics”
He said as the nation grapple with acute food shortages and imminent starvation, the Polytechnics have to take the lead in modern agricultural technology, entrepreneurship and training strategies to avert food insecurity in the country.
According to Professor Omada, food Security is when all people at all times , have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meet the dietary needs of the people.
He added that for a nation to be classified to have had food security, it would be able to feed it’s people with required and adequate level of food preferences and food products to meet the ever increasing consumption demand and to mitigate fluctuations and prices.
He quoted the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) which said, ” a nation is set to have attained food security only when the populace have access and available food stuff , stability and the quality of the diets.”
Omada a former Rector of the Kogi state Polytechnic, Lokoja, and a Professor of Geology, and currently, a Director, Research Administration, NOUN, lamented the state of food insufficiency in the country and called for all hands to be on deck to rescue the nation from the imminent food crisis starring the people in the face.
According to him, the Polytechnics as foremost institutions saddled with vocational and technology education, should use their expertise to fabricate home made farm equipments and production of high breed seedlings compatible with the weather , to enable teeming youths to venture into agriculture.
“As necessity is mother of invention, polytechnics should ensure that their schools of Agriculture are equipped with relevant manpower and material resources in order to bring about Agricultural revolution, aimed at finding solutions to the food crisis.” he suggested.
He further advised the Polytechnics to evolve use of appropriate tools and human resources in the production, processing and storage of food items, decrying the low level technology in the production and distribution of agricultural products.
The guest lecturer suggested that kogi state polytechnic’s college of engineering at Itakpe should be equipped to produce agricultural implements necessary to encourage a revolution in agriculture in Kogi state.
He therefore urged Federal Government and other component authorities as private organisations to quickly halt the growing insecurity across the country to enable farmers put in their best to produce enough food without fear of being attacked.
Professor Omada also advised the government to support farmers with quality seedling and innovative tools, and activate irrigation farming as well as construct good roads and water supply to villages, electricity and lowering cost of transportation an antidote to food availability at all seasons.