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The Executive Director of the Lake Chad Research Institution, Dr Oluwasina Olabanji has said the success of agriculture largely depends on the nature and extent of use of mass media in mobilizing farmers for the adoption of improved agricultural technologies.
PLATFORM TIMES gathered that Dr. Olabanji said this during the first Olatunde Abudu annual lecture series facilitated by the Egba Science Education Foundation held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The foundation initiated the lecture series to honour the founder and funder of the foundation, the nonagerain ,the Maiyegun of Egbaland ,Chief Olatunde Abudu .
Also at the lecture the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland ,Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and the Osile of Oke-Ona ,ObaAdedapo Tejuoso among others including the leadership and members of Abeokuta Club were present .
Speaking on the theme “Impact of Science and Technology in Agriculture ,
Olabanji said the social media provides farmers with a quick and easy way to build relationship and interact with commodity stakeholders in the value chain which has made most farmers worldwide to be using the social media as an adequate way of advertising their products.
He said, “Many farmers worldwide are now using the social media as an adequate way of advertising their product, accessing weather forecast, market information and financial information in different languages”.
However, he made it clear that despite the long existence of extension institution, coverage is still limited.
He added “the long existence of extension institution and technology transfer programmes, the extent of coverage is still limited and the quality of potential beneficial to new technology transfer is often underutilized.
“Increased investment in modern technologies is necessary in improving the productivity and sustainability of farming to cope with biotic and antibiotic stresses which are set to worsen with climate change.”
The foundation in it’s communique it issues after the event submitted “Science and Technology has reduced drudgery in farming activities and it has also improved efficiency in use of agricultural inputs and resultant yields per unit area of farmland.
” Science and Technology has created equipment, tools and devices for agricultural mechanisation, green house technology, drip irrigation, hydroponics etc.
“Science and Technology has revolutionised the use of Information and Communication Technology and Drones in geo – physical surveys, predictions of incidences and severity of pests and diseases.
“Science and Technology has elevated agriculture to a commercial and business venture capable of generating incomes to stakeholders along the value chain and thus contributing directly to wealth creation and national economy.
“Science and Technology has through crop breeding created improved and high yielding rice and wheat varieties resistant to drought, pests and diseases.
“Science and Technology has helped in climate change and weather forecasting thereby helping farmers in planning their farming activities.
“Science and Technology has helped to quantify risks faced by farmers and it has also helped in predicting influences of environmental factors on agricultural production thereby making it possible for banks and other financial houses to grant sustainable financial services and loans to farmers.
” Science and Technology has influenced government policies directed at provision of enabling environments like security, rural roads, rural electrification, primary health care centres, marketing boards etc to enhance agricultural business activities.”