From: LAYI OLANREWAJU, Ilorin
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, on Tuesday, performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the campus of the College of Agriculture of the state’s University in Ilesha-Baruba, Baruten local council at the contractual cost of N907 million.
Ahmed explained that the sitting of the college in the area was strategic to its agricultural practices especially in the area of livestock and crop farming.
According to him, the agrarian nature of the area will provide students the opportunity to gain more insight into agriculture.
“As we battling the issues relating to food insecurity and unemployment, it is important we provide cutting edge education to ensure we produce knowledgeable young commercial farmers and professionals as well as to provide all private sectors with required research for innovation and growth.
“Specifically, the institution will also equip the agricultural sector with the knowledge, tools; wealth for farmers, input for industries and food security for all.
“Having moved away from the sustenance and social service agriculture to more market driven approach, agric business is more than ever knowledge based and technology dependant”, he said.
The governor asserted that agricultural sector has the potential to curb unemployment, build growth and create food security.
“Based on this recognition, we have put in place strategy to promote agriculture business in Kwara state.
“Our Offtaker demand driven agric scheme and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) have provided farmers opportunity to access capital, tools and expertise for their businesses at affordable rates”, Ahmed said.
He pledged that his administration would continue to provide various incentives to enhance ability of farmers to compete at production market and increase their earnings.
“However, this can only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace and security.
“It is for this reason and the need to uphold the security of all residents and citizens that I’m really disturbed by the recent clash between farmers and herdsmen locally and across the state.
“Let me assure you that my administration in partnership with security agencies will soon unveil new measures to eliminate these clashes across the state.
“In the interim, I call on everyone, who feel aggrieved or that have suffered losses on account of such clashes to exercise patience and refrain from act of criminality while allowing the rule of law to take its due course”, he said.
Earlier in her address, Hajia Aminat Ahmed, the state’s Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology explained that the reason for sitting the campus in Ilesha-Baruba was resolved towards ensuring that Kwara produces the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs, who would continue the agrarian revolution.
She said that the project awarded to Unicontinental Engineering International Company Limited had a timeframe of 48 weeks.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah said admission into the college would be made open to students from the neighbouring Benin Republic to strengthening the agric business tie between the two countries.
Na’Allah said that the campus would make University education accessible to the people at the grassroots and help in leading the state government’s resolve to agricultural mechanisation.
The Emir of Ilesha-Baruba, Prof. Halidu Abubakar in his goodwill message said he was delighted that the College of Agriculture campus project had become a reality since 2009 that the University took off in Malete.