A don and Professor of Mass Communication and Media Technology at the Lead City University (LCU), Ibadan, Prof. Taye Babaleye, has recommended that the government should make practical agricultural science a compulsory course in all secondary schools in the rural areas of the country. This was as he also suggested that for the country to guarantee sustainable food self-sufficiency and food security there is the need to introduce agricultural communication courses at the postgraduate level in the Departments of Mass Communication in Nigerian universities as a way of building up professional Communication Specialists in the agricultural sector. These are part of the thrusts of his inaugural lecture, entitled: “Participatory Agricultural Communication with Rural Farmers: Potentials and Panacea for Food Self-Sufficiency and Food Security in Nigeria.” In his treaties, Prof. Babaleye, who held his audience, including the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabiru Adeyemo; members of the academia, captains of industry, religious and traditional rulers spell bound for almost two hours, spoke on the need to adopt and promote Participatory Agricultural Communication with Famers (PAComm) Model of Extension to enhance food crop productivity using the crop-based Farmers Associations in the rural areas. “The Federal Government should take advantage of IITA and borrow from the various basic and applied research findings with abundance of data available in that centre to support rural farmers to constantly step up food production,” he said. However, the inaugural lecturer, who in his contribution to knowledge has published nine books in the fields of Agricultural Communication, Public Relations and other arms of Mass Communication, as well as contributed five book chapters and published more than 40 scholarly articles in local and international peer Mustareviewed journals, said: “If the problem of food shortage can be solved in Nigeria the challenge of the country as the headquarters of global poverty will be drastically reduced.” On incessant strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the public perception on the image of higher educational institutions in the country, Babaleye expressed worry that the unabated strikes in public universities have been a cause for concern to parents, students and their lecturers. While stressing that the strikes have a negative effect on the image of Nigerian universities, the don, however, added that it also has a damaging effect on the academic standards of the students. He recommended that the Federal Government and ASUU should find a lasting solution to the incessant strikes; saying “if care was not taken certificates awarded to products of public universities in the nation might not be recognised outside the country.” Speaking on his contributions to knowledge in Agricultural Communication (Research and Extension) towards enhancing food self-sufficiency and food security in Nigeria, the inaugural lecturer said “food insecurity is more than hunger. It is the beginning of starvation affecting the most vulnerable sectors of society.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *