UI seeks partnership with private sector on harnessing agric potentials UI seeks

IBADAN (Sundiata Post) – Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology (CPEB), University of Ibadan (UI), is seeking partnership with the private sector to harness agricultural resources in Nigeria.Head of the department

Prof. Morufat Balogun, stated this in Ibadan on Thursday while speaking on untapped potentials in the agricultural sector.

According to her, the department has developed agricultural resources into various uses that can reduce importation of finished goods and help improve revenue generation for individuals and the country in general.

Balogun said that resources like bee wax could be locally used to produce candles, body lotion and for pharmaceutical uses, adding that mushroom spawn could also generate huge amount of revenue, if utilised appropriately.

She stressed the need for Nigerians to change their taste for foreign goods, adding that countries in the developed world also looked inward at some points in their history before attaining reliance.“We plan to upscale the products through partnership with the private sector and establishment of stakeholder networks to induce demand and sustain the value chain.“

Nigeria will need to harness the existing innovations sitting on the shelves or libraries in the universities.“This can be in form of an innovation fair for the agricultural value chain, training of value chain actors, especially youths and establishment of partnerships with technology off-takers (investors).“

This is to promote and commercialise the technologies such that it translates into more jobs and enhances gross domestic product (GDP),” she said.

According to the don, the department has conceived an initiative to train youths, including fresh graduates of the department, on the innovations.“We also have a Farmers’ Cohort where we promote farming activities and linkages among the students.“Based on partnerships with various research institutions, other products include: absorbents for cleaning up oil spills, under-utilised legume seeds and tubers, crop pest control formulations, insects for feeds, herbal teas as well as crop disease diagnostic services,” she said.

Balogun stated that steps had been taken in respect of the innovations that were patented.“We applied to the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), describing in details,

the invention and the claims therein.“It was reviewed by NOTAP and upon approval, we paid the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investments for the trademarks, patent and design service as well as renewals,” she said. (NAN)