The Vice-Chancellor, Landmark University, Professor Adeniyi Olayanju has called on the Society for Experimental Biology of Nigeria (NISEB) to be proactive in their involvement in tackling food security challenges in Africa. He made the call in his welcome address at the opening ceremony of the 18th Annual Scientific Conference and AGM of the Society which was themed: “Experimental Biology for Food Security and Sustainable Development” and hosted by Landmark University. 

While congratulating NISEB on the most apposite theme for the year’s conference, noting its connection to the overarching vision of the University, the Vice-Chancellor reiterated its contributions towards salvaging global food security collapse. 

“As an academic community, we are excited to receive the Society for Experimental Biology of Nigeria on this campus, noting its crucial thematic concern for this Conference that runs in sync with the visionary mandate of the University, which is suggestive of collaborative efforts at meeting food related Sustainable Development Goal for Africa. With this interdisciplinary synergy channeled towards improving the plight of the black race, I have a clear understanding of the awesome future awaiting Nigeria and Africa, as the invited agripreneurs, entrepreneurs, and researchers across board ventilate knowledge to yield the needed solutions.”

Earlier, Professor Olayanju had noted during the NISEB officials’ courtesy call on the Management of the University that the University was committed to raising the bar of excellence through mechanization as it envisioned food production in large scale for the teeming population of Africa. He added that the role of NISEB cannot be overemphasized in advancing the frontiers of her vision, noting the University’s readiness for valuable collaborations.

While delivering the Keynote Address, Professor Victor Adetimirin, said food security is one of the 17 integrated sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations expected to be achieved in 2030. Looking at the state of Nigeria, he said the nation is presently in dire need of both food security and sustainable development and NISEB is one of the societies that desire to make impact by solving the problem. He therefore noted that food security should be pursued in terms of availability and accessibility of quality and quantity of food. 

According to him, there has not been any government plan or policy in place to meet this benchmark especially in the face of the alarming exponential increase in Nigeria’s population growth. He said Nigeria is estimated to be the 3rd most populous nation in the world by 2050 as it would have overtaken the United States. 

“In recent time, Nigeria has overtaken India in the number of poor people in the world. Nigeria now has over 87million people living in extreme poverty compared to India’s 73million. The elimination of extreme poverty is the first of the 17 SDGs. Understanding this demographic changes will provide information on the challenges and opportunities which they present for achieving sustainable development,” he added.

To overcome this challenge, Professor Adetimirin said there is need for an agricultural intensification towards an increase agricultural production to meet the growing population, giving that Nigeria has the required arable land for food production. He recommended the adoption of appropriate technology in agricultural production to increase output and remove drudgery from agricultural practice. 

The conference had three plenaries delivered by Professor Oyewale Tomori, Professor Musa Galadima and Professor Adeniyi Olayanju and two memorial lectures in honour of Professor Anthony Uyekpen Osagie and Dr. Justine Timothy Ekanem, delievered by Professor E. C. Onyeneke and Dr. (Mrs.) Faoziyat Sulaiman respectively. 

The highlight of the event was the Award of Fellow conferred on Professor C.C. Osunbor. Other awards were given to the Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Regents of Landmark University, Dr. David Oyedepo, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Adeniyi Olayanju and the erstwhile Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aize Obayan for their support towards the success of the conference.




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