FUNAAB offers govt, investors local rice, poultry as import substitutes
Ololade Enikuomehin, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta(FUNAAB) has said that both public and private sectors have no business to import food components such as rice and poultry into the country as the agriculture-based institution has researched and discovered new species of rice and chicken locally invented to serve as better substitutes to imported ones.
BusinessDay reports that the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) discovered high yielding rice seeds which grow faster and better nutritious tagged “FUNAABOL 1” and invented a chick specie which is a hybrid of local chick and exotic one and tagged “FUNAAB Alpha”. The chick is meatier, healthier and more nutritious than the imported breeds.
Speaking at Press Conference heralding 23rd, 24th and 25th FUNAAB combined convocation ceremonies in Abeokuta on Monday, Enikuomehin disclosed that lots of innovations had been made through rigorous researches as part of measures to help Nigeria government fight poverty and food insecurity in the country, but government and investors seem not to bother on the innovations undertaken by the University to feed the nation.
“The burden on the University is to do research and come up with outcomes, and the extension to that is we have publicised what we have done, but to take it beyond that level is responsibility of government, is the responsibility of private sector and I think, that is where there is a missing link in this country.
“We have FUNAABOL 1, Professor Sowemimo is the brain behind it, he is still in the service of the University. Professor Adebambo who invented FUNAAB Alpha, is still around. What we need is an effective government policy that annexes research with the extension with adequate policy framework and funding”, he said.
While explaining that the provision of policy framework around development of FUNAAB rice and poultry species would save the nation lots of capital flights and reduce pressure on economy, he urged government and investors to adopt and invest in FUNAAB discoveries as such moves would not only reduce the import bills on imported food components, but would also put the country on the path of food security and real poverty alleviation.
He added, “We are refocusing back to the Agriculture, from the oil sector to non-oil sector. I think technically, what it means is that as a nation, we are starting to see that we need to devote resources to accentuate things that will lead to Agriculture and I wish to say that as a University, there are so many innovations that are available.
“Our extension documents with tell of some innovations that we are putting in place because of our mandate and the limitation of funding. The best we can is to showcase these things at every forum and then request for partners from public and private institutions. If there is any agencies, any institutions that are willing to partner with us in respect of these things, we are available.”
RAZAQ AYINLA, Abeokuta
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