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AGRIPRENEURSHIP TALKS TAKE CENTRE STAGE AT THE 5TH FOUNDER’S DAY ANNIVERSARY OF LANDMARK UNIVERSITY
As part of the programmes put in place to commemorate the 5th Founder’s Day Anniversary of Landmark University on Monday, 21st March, 2016, the University organized Agripreneurship Talks featuring accomplished mechanized farmers and notable agripreneurs. The event was organized to inspire the community towards attaining new frontiers in driving the agrarian vision of the University. The presentations were informative as well as educative and this made the day memorable, with scintillating activities. Mr. Akinyele Adekunle, the MD/CEO of Nika Farms, Investment Limited made a presentation on “Agriculture [as] a Viable Alternative to White Collar Jobs”, while Mr. Adeniji, the CEO of Niji Farms treated the audience to a presentation titled “Breakthrough in Agripreneurship”. Also boosting the morale of the University community in breaking new grounds was a presentation of a video clip titled, “Rage for Change” by Ndidi Nwuneli, the President of Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Professionalism (LEAP) Africa.
In his own presentation, Mr Adekunle, a vibrant Pig and Poultry farmer, described agriculture as an indispensable profession that other professionals depend on for sustainability of life. He stated that agriculture has taken a detour from being tedious and energy sapping to an easy engagement because of modern innovations Agricultural Practice. He highlighted the diversification inherent in agribusiness such as agriprocessing, agrimarketing, agritransportation amongst others. He advised the youth to discard the impression that agriculture is an exclusive profession of the old people, and embrace passionately agriculture as a panacea to the myriad of problems ravaging Africa. In the same vein, the second presenter, Mr Adeniji, a renowned agripreneur, explored the opportunities that can be harnessed through an agriculture value chain business. He said that agripreneurs are “those that challenge the status quo in agriculture and are always uncomfortable with the level of performance in the sector, and therefore advocating for change and proffering solutions”. In order to achieve this, he recommended that an agripreneur should be guarded with the business orientation and foresight to maximize his operations and ensure sustainability of the enterprise. He therefore suggested creation of a farm estate that will serve as a practical ground for integrated farming methods in the University.
The third presentation, “Rage for Change” stirred the LMU audience into increasing efforts towards ameliorating the Africa’s problems, particularly food insecurity. The Organization, LEAP Africa, identified poor leadership, ineffectiveness, unaccountability and unprofessionalism as the main impediments of Africa’s development. The presenter, Ndidi Nwuneli, in the video –Rage for Change, charged the University community that the innumerable problems are enough to arouse a rage in the citizenry, which however should be channelled towards changing the status quo. Speaking on food insecurity challenge in Nigeria, she noted the rate of involvement in agriculture with an incommensurable result for the sustainability of the Nigerian population. She decried the large dependence on importations which has made food expensive in the nation. She therefore called on the audience to join in the advocacy for a Local Food Content Bill that will compel industries and companies that process food to buy their raw materials locally. Her rage indeed found a fertile ground to flourish in the round-table session that succeeded the video clip. The round table created a multidimensional window for proffering solutions to the hydra-headed challenges in Africa, particularly food insecurity. At the round table were Professor Ifeanyi Onyeonoru, Professor Olukosi, Dr Bamiro, Mr. Oluwatobi, Mr. Moyebi Temidayo, and Miss Moyo.
Responding to the submission of the LEAP, Professor Onyeonoru said that leadership encompasses all the other variables for it to be able to wield the PULL concept of leadership to its advantage. He also stressed the importance of reorientation of the citizenry on correcting the leadership anomaly. In his own contribution, Dr Bamiro said that importation of food has detrimental effects on sustainable agriculture in Nigeria. He gave an example of the current naira devaluation as one of the effects of importation, adding that dollar gains value every day because of the regular economic patronage of the US. He added that no company will survive in a context where importation thrives except severe poverty and unemployment. Professor Olukosi stated categorically that adequate measure must be put in place to curb importation in Nigeria. This measure is to address production, marketing, infrastructural, support, and consumer challenges amongst others. The students were not left behind in making contributions, they explored the University core values, justifying the worth of leadership components they have absorbed from the University. They gave meaningful suggestions on how the new frontiers can be attained in the University, beginning from self-sustenance to feeding the nation and continent of Africa.
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