The Director, Institute for Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ibadan, Oyo State, Prof. James Adediran has called for the country’s return to agriculture, to boost its economy.
Adediran disclosed this during his Keynote Address at the 5th Annual In-House Review Meeting of the Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), titled: “Revitalising The Nigerian Economy Through Sustainable Agricultural Practices.”
Recounting the impact of agriculture on the economy, the Professor of Soil Science, represented by the Deputy Director, IAR&T, Dr. Jelili Olaide said: “In the good days, the impact of agriculture on the economy of the country across regions was so great that in present days, we have to marvel and wonder how and where did we go wrong.”
He highlighted economic achievements of agriculture in each region in the past to include groundnut pyramids and cotton in the North, the wonder of the trade in cocoa, coffee, oil palm and rubber in the South.
The Don observed that agriculture is losing its significance in Nigeria as a result of crude oil, which the government is concentrating more.
Analysing the decline of agriculture’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP, he disclosed that: “Early 1960’s, agriculture contributed 60 per cent to Nigeria’s GDP, 1970’s the GDP was 49 per cent, 1980’s agriculture contributed 22.2 per cent GDP to the economy. 2010-2015, agricultural GDP to the nations’ economy was 23.3 per cent and in 2016, agriculture generated 24.5 per cent GDP to the Nigeria economy”.
Proffering solution, Adediran charged states to support agricultural policies of the Federal Government, noting that there should also be a partnership between Research Institutes on storage.
In her Welcome Address, Director, IFSERAR, Prof (Mrs.) Bamidele Oluwatosin appreciated the institution’s management for the support given to the centre, particularly with the purchase of the unmanned Aerial vehicles (Drones) for the Institute.She asked for constructive suggestions for future In-House Research review meetings, while appreciating the staff, particularly the organising committee for being thorough in their activities.
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