University Vice Chancellor of the Benson Idahosa University in Edo State, Professor Ernest Izevbigie has warned that food security in Nigeria is being threatened even as he announced that the university’s Faculty of Agriculture is getting set to grow tomatoes and carefully monitor them for quality.
The Vice Chancellor, who spoke against the backdrop of the tomato disease that has been ravaging some states in the North, remarked: “we are at risk of food insecurity; that is what is happening now. If you have food security, you will have plenty of food available. But food security in this country is being threatened.”
Professor Izevbigie said however that in order to address the challenges posed by the tomato disease, his university is planning to produce 800,000 tons of tomatoes, saying: “we are making an audacious statement that Benson Idahosa University is poised to produce 800,000 tons of tomatoes to ameliorate the present shortage in the supply of tomatoes in Nigeria in the next one year,” he said.
He noted that the university’s agriculture department also had the technology to cultivate grass, which would ameliorate the effects of cattle grazing, adding that Nigeria should become more self-sufficient in terms of forage crops production, as the country has the proper soil and climate for such crops to thrive. [myad]