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Bulletin on The Visitation from LAPAI

On the 23 of August, 2016 a six team visitation panel was at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, (FUNAAB) Nigeria. The team consisted of scientists from the Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, Nigeria. The Team was headed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Prof Yakubu Mohammed. They were visiting FUNNAB with the objective of familiarizing themselves with the practical component of organic agriculture and with the possibilities of replicating similar experience in their University.

The Team was hosted by the National Coordinator of OAPTIN, Professor O.B Oyewole at the Senate Building. He expressed the continued support of the University management on the activities of OAPTIN. He wished the delegates a fruitful stay at the campus. Vote of thanks was later delivered by the National Secretary of OAPTIN.

The first point of call was the screen house of the College of Plant Science and Crop Production, where they were introduced to the systems of rice intensification (SRI). They were informed of the components of SRI. The components it was reiterated was to complement the ecological principles of nutrient and water management in situ. The challenges towards the dissemination and adoption of this technology in the country were also highlighted. They were guided on pest management & nutrient management based on the concepts and principles of organic agriculture. Further information on the practices and opportunities in nutraceuticals was provided. The delegates were advised to initiate in their University work, earn and learn programme (WELP) to increase the skill set and knowledge of the participants in organic farming and at the same time provide a kind of financial support for the students towards sustaining themselves on campus. Other initiatives at the Secretariat were Community Organic Box Scheme (COBS). This Scheme was to support the university community in the provision of organically produced agricultural products. It was a platform for organic agriculture advocacy in the university and a stream of income to support the organic farm. Such boxes were delivered to financially active members on every Friday of the week. Information was provided on the 4th Summer school. The delegates were advised to avail themselves of the opportunity accruable from participating in summer school. The mandate of which is to provide a networking platform for both practicing and non-practicing farmers. It also serves at an avenue to update skills, knowledge and competencies in organic farming. Opportunities available in the global organic family were also highlighted especially on the need for certification to increase produce acceptability in the global market at a premium and the organic value chain. Finally the delegates visited the site for snail production, the fish farm and the orchard of the University. The farm manager generously answered the questions posed to him and expressed his desire that efforts are in progress to switch over to organic production, since the focus of the commercial arm of the University is integrated agricultural management, which is in tandem with the principles of organic agriculture. He further solicited for the collaborative efforts between the University Farm and OAPTIN for the change-over to organic farming.
The programme ended with a vote of thanks delivered by the DVC administration of Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai. The delegates later departed to their respective locations the following day.