Africa Brazil Grant Progress Report
Department of Soil Science
Dr. Anthony Kehinde Oluleye is the Head of Department of Soil Science. Soil Science involves agricultural and natural science with focus on agriculture in view of the need to guarantee food security for humanity. Soil Science has a major role to play in ensuring adequate food production. It also helps to tackle environmental problems arising from industrial and domestic activities.
The African-Brazil Co-operation is a grant to conduct research on pepper. FUOYE is fortunate to have this grant now, given its age. The university was barely a month old when it got this grant. Other universities in this league are Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Prof. Akin Omotayo is Nigerian Co-ordinator of this research.
The global problem of climate change (i.e. the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere), is a major challenge in the world today. Soil scientists therefore, look for ways of curtailing the effect of climate change on the soil. Students offering this course could establish farms of their own as they run courses in fisheries, aquatics, soil science etc. They can also be relevant in the petroleum industry, Ministry of Agriculture, and even as consultants to construction firms.
As stated earlier, the world has become a global village. Linkages and collaborations are commonplace. FUOYE Agriculture Faculty so far has the following linkages:
- African- Brazil Co-operation
- Collaborations from Maryland, USA
- Individual extensions with various universities
Research team members are Prof. Akin Omotayo (Co-leader, Nigeria),
Dr. Ayodele Fajimi (Plant Pathologist- FUOYE), Mrs Tope Ige (Ph.D Student, FUNNAB) and Dr. Anthony K. Oluleye(Soil Scientist- FUOYE). This is in collaboration with scientists from EMBRAPA Brazil: Dr. (Mrs) Claudia Riberio (Co-leader Brazil, Horticulture- EMBRAPA) and Dr. Francisco Basilio (Crop Breeder, EMBRAPA).
This project entails participatory evaluation and promotion of improved pepper cultivars (Capscicumspp) among small scale farmers. The project being implemented in Skiti State is granted by the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace Initiative and supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank and the Brazilian Government.
Attention is paid to varieties performance in the production seasons and along the value chain. The objective of this study, therefore, is to assess economic performance of Brazilian pepper cultivars with African varieties.The specific objectives are to:
- Identify, describe and evaluate the characteristics of selected improved pepper cultivars;
- Conduct participatory on-farm trials and field demonstrations on production of these selected improved pepper cultivars;
- Develop promotional media to increase the adoption of improved cultivars of pepper, increase access to better pepper market deals and foster increased income among small holder - farmers and other actors in the pepper value chain.
The Faculty of Agriculture is not without the usual start-up challenges. Prominent among these is insufficient funding. The Faculty operates without any running grant to meet its sundry expenses. There is also the infrastructural challenge. This is the greatest of all challenges, even though one appreciates the fact that it is not peculiar to Faculty alone. One other challenge exacerbating and eroding the meagre resources of the university is the fact that the Federal Government is not relating with FUOYE as a multi-campus university.
Further on the infrastructure challenge is the absence of laboratories and their attendant components. This need has become critical - given the fact that the university is expecting third year students to resume. At this level, the university needs laboratories for effectiveness and all-round grounding of undergraduates.
To mitigate these challenges, NUC, Ministry of Education, TETFUND, the private sector, high net-worth individuals and public-spirited persons and establishments should rally round the university in cash and kind. The Federal Government, in particular, should take into consideration the bi-campus status of the university to reduce the heat on our administrators. When this call is heeded, it will make administration easier for those charged with the task.
Written by Ukaegwu Chris
With Additional reports from Foluke Isreal, Tope Akinkunmi & Obioma Ekere