The Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof. Olusola Oyewole has called for the evolving of synergy between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) and the Federal Universities of Agriculture, as a definite way of generating effective and sustainable outcome for the agricultural programmes in the country.
The Vice Chancellor made the call in a welcome remark he delivered on at a 4 day follow-up meeting of WAAPP activities with selected Universities. He said that such cooperation will serve as catalyst propelling their common resolve, interest and decision to collaborate with WAAPP-Nigeria.
Professor Oyewole noted that the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP), as a World Bank-assisted programme for countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It has a broad objective of increasing agricultural productivity and promoting regional integration and added that the consultative meetings being organized by the West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP-Nigeria) presents a golden opportunity to identify ways to collaborate in furthering the development of Nigerian agriculture.
The Vice Chancellor disclosed that reports reaching his Institution concerning the last consultative meeting with Nigerian Universities held in Makurdi gave him the impetus to want to associate the more with WAAPP-Nigeria. Highlights of the achievement of the programme to-date such as the ultimate signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Agriculture, Makurdi (UAM) as well as the future implementation plan of the programme are worthy of mention, he added.
He congratulated all stakeholders particularly the selected Universities for their selection by WAAPP-Nigeria as members of the pilot group for its collaboration.
While reminding them of the enormous task ahead, he charged them to be strategically focused in their proposals so as to prompt WAAPP-Nigeria’s support. He also challenged them to ensure the culmination of deliverables which will aggregate in growth and development of the different subsectors of agriculture and eventual livelihoods of beneficiaries.
The welcome remark was delivered on his behalf by the Deputy VC, Development, Prof. Philip Salako at the follow-up meeting holding at the FUNAAB International Scholars’ Centre, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
In his own remarks, the National Project Coordinator of WAAPP-Nigeria, Prof. Damian O. Chikwendu drew the attention of the participating Universities to the area of technology dissemination which he said is common to all the participating Universities. He reminded them of the main objective of the follow-up meeting which is to enable the Universities present their proposals and to reach agreement with WAAPP on the modalities for implementation.
This, he said is necessary so that veritable Memoranda of Understanding for various activities of different subsectors of Agriculture would be signed between WAAPP-Nigeria.
He also urged all participants to pay particular attention to the Environmental Impact Assessment aspect of their proposal as the World Bank would not oblige any proposal that is deficient in that aspect.
A total of 13 Universities and several Research Institutes and other stakeholders in the Agricultural sector were in attendance at the follow-up meeting. Lectures on day one of the meeting were on technology dissemination, poultry production, with focus on the popularisation of the Shika-Brown, a poultry technology indigenous to Nigeria, environmental and social safeguard and broodstock Production/Fingerling multiplication efforts among other topics.
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