Professor Ademola Tayo, Vice Chancellor Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo Ogun State has flagged off agropreneurship centre as part of the institution’s contribution to develop and impart skills in agriculture to interested Nigerians.
He stated this during the World Food Day celebration organised by the university in conjunction with the Mushroom Development Foundation (MDF), at the university campus in Ilishan Remo in Ogun state.
Professor Tayo said the centre would serve as a platform that will develop programmes and skills acquisition in all the activities and processes involved along the agricultural value chain, stressing that many would be empowered in various agricultural ventures.
He said this will go a long way in promoting the federal government’s agenda of diversifying the economy through agriculture.
Also, Professor Cyril Nwangburuka, Head of Department, Agriculture and Industrial Technology noted that the centre will add value to the agricultural chain by developing farmers’ skills n all sphere of agriculture.
He added that the centre will cater for anybody who is willing to learn and acquire skill in agricultural production and processing, stressing that is it not meant for students of the institution alone.
“It is not for our students alone; anybody can come in to learn. We are throwing it open for members of the public to come in to acquire skill in the various agricultural products and processes.
Dr. Stephen Habib, Managing Director Kingsfarm Nigeria Limited described the initiative as a good avenue for institutions to engage in the training of young entrepreneurs that desires to venture into production, processing or market of agricultural produce.
Dr. Habib, who is also an alumnus of the university, said his company, will give the needed support to kick-start the initiative, stressing that he is into livestock, fruit and vegetable production and promised to provide assistance in all of the areas where such is required at the centre.
Also, Duro Kuteyi, Chairman Spectra Foods Limited while speaking with INDEPENDENT, said he would assist in the food processing, saying that assistance would be provided in the processing of any available raw material available.
He also encouraged the university authority to grow more crops in order to have enough to feed the rising students population and also sell to the communities around the university.
“We want the university to reduce students spending in terms of producing for them cheaply and at the same time reaching out to outside market like selling in Abeokuta, Ijebu Ode and the likes so as to generate revenues for the university. It has been the money in the campus going out, now it is time to bring in the money to the campus,” he said.
Also at the programme six Nigerians who have consistently contributed to food sustainability were recognised. They included: Dr. Olatunde Agbato, Chief Executive Officer Animal Care Services Konsult Nigeria Limited; Duro Kuteyi, Chairman Spectra Foods Limited; and Ayoola Oba Otudeko, Chairman Honeywell Group.
Others are Otunba Femi Oke, Chairman All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos State chapter; Chief Kesington Adebutu, Chairman Kesington Foundation, and Dr. Stephen Habib, Managing Director Kingsfarm Nigeria Limited.
Chi Tola Roberts, President MDF in his address on the criteria for selection of the awardees explained that those given recognition were people that have contributed to the sustainability in the area of agriculture and human resource development.