University dons in the field of crop protection and environmental biology, University of Ibadan, have said that to arrest the shortage of food ravaging our country, apart from embarking in massive production of food, adequate measures must be put in place to protect the harvested crops in store and the ones in the farm.
Speaking at a press briefing in Ibadan to mark 50 years of the Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan, Professor Adeniyi Togun, Head of the Department said, "The missing link between abundance supply of food and shortage of food production in a nation is the measure put in place to protect and preserve the crops."
He noted that no amount of energy put in food production without adequate measures to protect both the harvested and non harvested crops will yield the desired result, adding "Complete understanding of the way of life of these organisms, progress may be made in increasing the productivity of plants and overall production of various agriculture products."
According to Professor Togun, if tertiary institutions offering this course have all the wherewithal to train graduates in this field, our country will have little or no problem feeding the over 140 million population.
It was in this regards he called on the school Alumni to contribute generously to the department's N500 million golden jubilee fund, proceeds of which he noted will be used in making the department 21st century compliant in terms of facilities for teaching and research.
"Laboratories will also be rehabilitated and state-of-the art equipment acquired for cutting-edge research," he added. He said the event which has started since 7th will end tomorrow 13th of July.
On his part, Professor Bamidele Fawole, former HOD of the department and Chairman, organising committee for the department's golden jubilee stated that the event will also be use to honour some of their Alumni who have distinguished themselves in the field of the profession.
He identified Dr Kanayo Nwanze, President, IFAD, Rome, Italy, an alumnus of the institution as one of the distinguish awardees. Also, Sir Albert Oboite who was instrumental in setting up the best museum centre in Africa, will be honoured.
Mainwhile, Dr Adebayo Omoloye, Chief Entomology Unit and Dr Biodun Claudius-Cole, Ag Chief Psychopathology experts in crops protection urged farmers to avoid the use of insecticides indiscriminately saying that such attitude will kill some of the good crops they are trying to protect. "Every insecticide comes with a label and if not properly apply it may cause more damage to our crops," he said.
On the use of chemical fertilizer to boost agriculture production, Omoloye said that the ideal fertilizer for crops is the one farmers generate by themselves using organic method. He explained that if you have a poultry farm, it could be use to generate manure healthy enough to boost agriculture production.
He summarised by urging farmers to follow appropriate dosage when applying protective measures, adding "if in doubt of the real dosage consult experts in the field, if you don't understand how, use insecticide in its barest minimum."
Also, farmers are charged to use the appropriate variety of crop to enhance great yield. In order for farmers to have good yield, he recommended that farmers use resistant varieties, saying that they should plant healthy seeds that have no symptom of infection.