Don Calls For The Setting Up Of An Indigenous Plant Breeding Rescue Agenda

By: Aduwo Ayodele


A Professor of Plant Breeding and Crop Production at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, Professor Victor Olawale Adetimirin has on Thursday, February 8, 2024, recommended the setting up of a Plant Breeding Rescue Agenda 2050 for Nigeria, to address the development of improved varieties of food, feed, and fibre crops in a holistic manner that is One-Health oriented.

The lecture was entitled “Black Pot, White Gruel,” an allegory and expression of hope that out of the Black Pots of the nation, Federal Universities in Nigeria and the University of Ibadan, White Gruel will still emerge.

Delivering the 541st Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ibadan, on behalf of the Faculty of Agriculture, Professor Adetimirin said the conception, implementation, and delivery of the agenda must have a strong Agricultural Extension component from the beginning to the end.

The Don emphasized that the agenda must be a Nigeria-for-Nigeria agenda; driven by Nigeria and fully funded by Nigeria, as a demonstration that Nigeria is ready to change her narrative positively among the comity of nations.

Professor Adetimirin argued that Nigeria’s Plant Breeding Rescue Agenda 2050 can not be funded by countries that Nigeria is struggling to liberate herself.

‘The agenda must not be the usual Nigerian thing. It must be free from Nigeria’s politics, her shenanigans, and corrupt practices. The agenda must have a zero budget for international trips as the expertise required to deliver it, is within the shores of Nigeria.” Professor Adetimirin noted.

He also said that beyond addressing One-Health issues holistically, Agenda 2050 as proposed, must be an economic emancipation agenda that will not only ensure that Nigeria relocates all jobs associated with seed production of all crops to Nigeria, but also ensure that the billions of naira realised from the sale of seeds remain in Nigeria.

In addition to his recommendation, the inaugural lecturer also called on the government to support relevant researchers and research institutions in Nigeria to develop improved varieties of all vegetable crops comparable in agronomic and consumer-preferred traits to arrest the importation of seeds of vegetable crops into Nigeria.

He submitted further that no nation can be food secure without being seed secure. To this which seed companies in Nigeria should be given incentives to go into vegetable seed production of developed improved varieties, in an effort to stop the uncontrolled influx of imported vegetable seeds into Nigeria.

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