Farmers, herders’ clashes threatening agricultural research – OAU VC

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Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, has said the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen in some parts of the country are threatening agricultural research and productivity in Nigeria.

The vice chancellor raised the alarm Monday while speaking at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) Ibadan, during the opening of 2020/2021 annual-in-house review exercise/33rd South West Zonal Research Extension Farmers Input Linkage System (REFILS) workshop.

Professor Ogunbodede said there is the need for necessary efforts to be put in place to find solution to incessant clashes among farmers and herdsmen, adding that climate change, COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the clashes between farmers and herdsmen require a new approach to tackle food insufficiency in the country.

He said: “The issues of climate change, friction between farmers and herdsmen and indeed COVID-19 pandemic, have affected agricultural research and productivity and required a new approach to research and development. Researchers must now begin or think of ways and means of mitigating these”, he said.

Ogunbodede added: “Boko Haram started in Borno state in 2009, in a decade, it has become a West African group and the attacks are having its impact on food security. Government must ensure that all Nigerians have access to vaccines to address COVID-19 pandemic.”

The vice chancellor stated that researchers must think of ways to mitigate the effect of the clashes so as to avert food scarcity in and across the country, adding, “I am aware that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the year 2020, the institute was unable to hold the annual-in-house review exercise and the REFILS workshop. This is why this year’s event is in respect of the years 2020 and 2021.”

In her remark, executive director of (IAR&T), Professor Veronica Obatolu, stated that erratic supply of electricity has affected most of the research and seed storage funding.

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