Covenant Promises Commitment to Cassava, Root Tuber Crops Development in Africa
The Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero, has promised the University’s commitment to the development of cassava as well as other roots and tuber crops in Africa.
Professor Atayero made the promise on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at the opening ceremony of the one-day Otta Farmer’s Day Workshop, organised by Covenant’s Hub of the West African Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) at the University’s campus.
The Vice-Chancellor stated that the workshop, which had “Cassava Virus and Clean Seed Awareness” as its theme, demonstrated the University’s commitment to the development of the cultivation of cassava and life in general. “Many farmers derived their income from cassava and its derivatives. What we are doing today is in line with three (3) of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely Goal 2, 3 and number 12,” he noted.
He commended the organisers, led by Dr. Angela Eni, for continuous sensitization of the farmers across the West African Sub-region on the best practices in agriculture, particularly in the cultivation of cassava as well as other roots and tuber crops that would result to high yield. He also extoled her for bringing laurels and grants to the University through her various research endeavours.
Also speaking at the event, the Olota of Otta, His Royal Majesty, Oba (Professor) Adeyemi Obalanlege, enjoined the farmers to appreciate the training and apply the knowledge acquired in order to have high-yield cassava and generate more income from the produce.
The workshop, according to Dr. Eni, was organised to create awareness about what the farmers should do and not do to prevent the outbreak of Cassava Brown Streak Virus, which was already devastating cassava farms in East and Central Africa and spreading towards the West Africa.
“The virus is not present anywhere in Nigeria yet but the farmers will be trained to recognise the disease in case it does get into the country and to rapidly report to the appropriate authority in order to prevent the spread,” she explained.
The farmers were taken through three enlightening presentations titled, “Towards Ensuring Food Security in West Africa: Combating Cassava Virus Diseases;” “Towards Exclusion of Exotic Cassava Virus Diseases: The Role of WAVE” and “The Need for Virus Free Cassava Planting Materials.”
The workshop, which had 65 participants in attendance, was also graced by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Akan Williams; Registrar, Dr. Olumuyiwa Oludayo; Dean, College of Science and Technology, Professor Kolawole Ajanaku and the Chaplain, Pastor Kayode Martins.