Vice Chancellors of Nigerian universities have been urged to prioritise the actualisation agriculture transformation, urging them to make their institution the centres of excellence as soon as possible.

The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc. Sonny Echono, stated this in Abuja during the vice chancellors roundtable on the implementation of Agricultural Research and Innovation Fellowship for Africa (ARIFA) in Nigeria with the theme: “Building The Post-Vicosa Symposium Action Plan.”

“My charge to you is to make this a personal mission because I’m very confident that if we get it right in agriculture in this country half of our problems will be solved as it is the easiest means of creating jobs,” he said.

He urged them to find modern ways of doing things that will significantly improve revenue as increase in the yield translate to proportional increase in revenues and it makes it more attractive.

“As we adopt new technology, develop our mechanisation and irrigation we will found opportunities through commercial agriculture and we will be able to absorb the graduates that will produce because most of the issue, if you noticed, more than 60 percent of those who graduate with agriculture go on to do other things with their lives because we don’t have commercial farming that can absorb this workforce we produced.

He said Nigeria can learn a lot from Brazil through partnership given their track record in the area of agriculture, adding that everything is built through national food security and it is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that happens.

Speaking, the Executive Secretary of Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, said the workshop was to have an internationalisation process, adding that the outcomes from the meeting would feed into Post-Viçosa Sympo Action Plan, holding at University of Lagos in July.

He said the meeting will focus on priority areas of demand for increased capacity in STEM, establishment of innovation platforms, among others.

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