Abandoned Farm Settlements Now Hideout For Bandits, Kidnappers – FUNAAB VC

Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB),Professor Olusola Kehinde, has raised the alarm that abandoned farm settlements scattered across Nigeria have become hideouts and safe havens for kidnappers and bandits.

Th VC  raised the the concern during the maiden agricultural summit of Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin.

The summit, themed “Meeting the Challenges of Food Insecurity in Nigeria: Agricultural Technology to the Rescue,” focused on addressing Nigeria’s food insecurity issues through technological advancements in agriculture.

 Professor Kehinde, represented by Professor Adebayo Oni, emphasised the urgent need for the government at both federal and state levels to revitalize these abandoned settlements to enhance food and animal production across the country.

“In the past, the western region government initiated farm settlement schemes to improve agriculture, generate employment, and boost food production. 

“Unfortunately, these facilities have been neglected and are now being used by bandits and kidnappers to terrorize citizens,” said Professor Kehinde. 

He highlighted the extensive land resources these settlements occupy and questioned why the government finds it challenging to revamp these areas for agricultural purposes.

Professor Noah Yusuf, Vice Chancellor of Al-Hikmah University, echoed these sentiments, stressing that the summit was driven by the institution’s 13th convocation lecture, delivered by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

 He expressed confidence that adopting agricultural technologies could be the key to achieving food sufficiency in Nigeria.

Similarly, Professor Lateef Sanni, Executive Director of the Nigeria Stored Product Research Institute (NSPRI), pointed out that Nigeria is significantly behind in the use of technology to enhance agriculture and food production.

 This lag has resulted in considerable waste and low agricultural yields, despite the country’s vast potentials. 

He called on universities and other educational institutions to leverage their extensive land and agricultural expertise to empower students and improve food accessibility.

Dr. Olurunnisola Kola Saheed, the acting dean of the faculty of agriculture at Al-Hikmah University and host of the summit, underscored the necessity of investing in homegrown technologies to boost food production and revenue. 

He added that the agricultural sector, with its comprehensive value chain and proper technological deployment, offers the most significant opportunity to grow the country and reduce youth unemployment.

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