Acting vicechancellor, Osun State University, UNIOSUN, Professor Oguntola Jelil Alamu yesterday said that an international research consortium led and coordinated by Professor Clement Adebooye (Agronomy/Crop Physiology) of the university had been awarded a total of $4.45 million by the Canadian International Development Research Centre, IDRC, to advance indigenous vegetables production and utilisation technology in southwest Nigeria and Benin
Prof. Alamu gave this information while performing the official announcement of the Micro-dosing indigenous vegetables to combat poverty (Micro-Veg) in the society.
The project title, according to the acting VC, is ‘Synergising fertiliser micro-dosing and indigenous vegetable production to enhance food and economic security of West African farmers’ and jointly funded by the IDRC and Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, DFATD, under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund, CIFSRF.
Alamu informed that this collaborative project also involved the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, University of Parakou, Benin Republic, University of Manitoba and University of Saskatoon, Canada, while thanking the government of Canada for trusting the expertise available in UNIOSUN.
The UNIOSUN acting VC stated further that, “I am indeed very happy that, we are moving very fast in research and academics. We are competing favourably with other big institutions and our impacts are being felt, not only in Nigeria but also globally.”
Prof Alamu said further that the project would also support the School Feeding Programme of the state (O-MEALS) through the formation of Young Vegetable Scientists Clubs, YVSC, in selected secondary schools.
It would be recalled that similar project funded by IDRC to the tune of $3.0 million was implemented by Professor Adebooye and his team from 2011-2014 in Nigeria, in which more than 1,400 farmers increased their yields and doubled their incomes by using improved farming practices to grow underutilised indigenous vegetables at 22 locations in Osun, Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti States.
Similarly, this new project is expected to be implemented in Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara and Lagos States in southwest Nigeria and Benin Republic.
However, Alamu thanked the Canadian government for the funding which will go a long way in addressing the immediate problems of the poor rural communities in southwest Nigeria and Benin Republic.