By: Joshua Adinoyi
Governments at all levels in Nigeria have been called upon to enlighten Farmers the more, to cultivate Fungus and disease resistant varieties of Cowpea and other crops.
A Professor of Plant Pathology/Mycology, Department of Botany – Faculty of Science at the Federal University Lokoja, Prof. Mohammed Nasirudeen Suleiman, made the call while delivering a Lecture on “Pathogenic Fungi and Food Deprivation, the Challenges of Plant Pathologists”, during the 10th Inaugural Lecture of the Institution at the Adankolo Campus in Lokoja, Kogi State Capital.
Prof. Suleiman explained that Cowpea is the most important indigenous grains found in most areas in North of the Confluence of Rivers Niger and Benue in Nigeria, stressing that studies has revealed that 30% of the Nation’s Cowpea yield, is lost due to fungal attacks.
To put the continuous spread of fungus and disease under control, Prof. Suleiman enjoined the government to engage relevant authorities to scale up enlightenment to enable farmers plant fungus resistant varieties of Cowpea.
“The Survey of root root disease of Cowpea was carried out in privately owned farms at four main grown locations (Dekina, Abejukolo, Ajaaka and Ankpa). Disease incidence was highest in Ajaaka and Ankpa, Dekina and Abejukolo had the least
“Among the Cultivars, Ife-brown was most resistant. In view of this development, it has become incumbent on the Local, State and Federal Governments, through Agricultural Agencies saddled with the responsibility and other stakeholders, to embark on a wide scale enlightenment and control measure
“They can also use resistant varieties. This is aimed at putting the continuous spread of this fungus and disease under control. It will as well enhance the development and productivity of grain crop such as Cowpea and other crops” he said.
In his 55 Pages Published Book, Prof. Suleiman explained in detail other issues as it relates to the topic, “Pathogenic Fungi and Food Deprivation, the Challenges of Plant Pathologists” and also made recommendations.
In a remark, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University Lokoja, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi, expressed delight over the progress of the University in all areas of its development for the past two years of his administration as the VC.
Prof. Akinwumi explained that as part of his objectives to promote the institutionalisation of Academic Culture, they have organized several National and International Conferences, stressing that the University has risen valiantly to the top of the table among the 12 Federal Universities founded by Former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
The erudite Professor of History reaffirm his commitment at maintaining and building more on the accomplishment of his administration to continue to position the Institution as the University of the Future.
The VC commended Prof. Suleiman for sharing with others, his wealth of experience, assuring that the University will continue to afford Professors opportunity to deliver Inaugural Lectures.
In an Interview with Dr. Nasir Naeem Abdulsalam, a Special Assistant to the Director General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), commended Prof. Mohammed Suleiman for doing justice to the topic, describing it as “an inaugural lecture indeed”.
Dr. Abdulsalam enjoined participants to abide by and put into practice, the lessons learnt at the 10th Inaugural Lecture of the Institution.
Inaugural Lectures provide Professors the opportunity to inform colleagues, the University Community and the public of their work to date, including current and future research plans.
While deepening and widening the Academic space, it is also designed to enhance the engagement with the wider and critical audiences with a view to establishing a new career road map for the younger ones, among others.