Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
To meet the food needs of the nation, a professor of Farm Power and Machinery with University of Ilorin, Prof. Joshua Olarenwaju Olaoye, has advised the federal government to embrace agricultural mechanisation policy in order to ramp up food production.
Olaoye, made the submission in Ilorin while delivering the 187th inaugural lecture of the university held at the main auditorium of the university.
The theme of the lecture is entitled: “Gathering The Fragments That Nothing is Wasted: Advancing Agricultural Mechanisation, Energy and Food Sovereignty Catena.”
The don also called on the federal government to deploy all necessary political will and commitment to implement already documented food security programmes to the letter.
He said, “there abound sufficient natural resources in the country that can meet the dire food sovereignty of our nation.
“The concern therefore is to identify, appreciate, develop and apply them gainfully to attain surplus energy supply and food security. No known ‘spirit’ will come down to develop same for our use except to recolonise.”
While noting that Nigeria needs national agricultural mechanisation and agro-industrial development policy, the don called for establishment of agricultural engineering department across universities in the country.
He added, “Nigeria needs national agricultural mechanisation and agro-industrial development policy and not mechanisation strategies as currently available.
“As a matter of urgency , Agricultural Engineering Department should be established at all levels of government federal, state and local so as to ensure the aggregation of various programmes of mechanisation technology under one functional unit”.
Olaoye, noted that, “industrialisation and urbanisation are related to high level of energy self-sufficiency, it is recommended that concerted efforts should be geared towards the identification and development of a specific feedstock for renewable energy generation.
“Domestication of crops with high economic potential that grow naturally in the wild such as Shea nut and locust bean crops require dedicated attention. These crops must be adequately protected.”