Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) on Friday inaugurated a 400sq metre greenhouse, solar borehole and solar dryer at the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure.
Mr Tony Otuonye, FMARD Coordinator in Ondo State, during the inauguration, explained that the gesture was part of the cooperation between the ministry and the institution.
Otunoye said the greenhouse would improve the food security in the state, if put to proper use.
According to him, the solar borehole is to help the students in their practical experiments and sustaining them in the hostels.
The state coordinator, who applauded the college for having about 85 per cent of the facilities needed, charged them on maintenance culture.
“I will advice that the college and its community should keep on maintaining all the projects facilitated by FMARD because the government cannot give you something and continue maintaining it for you.
“You have to find a way to keep them in good order. Generally, I am very impressed with what I saw in the college community, but there is need to put more efforts to uplift them, especially on full utilisation of the facilities.
“If the facilities and equipment in the college can be put into commercial use, it will generate revenue for the school, instead of waiting for funds from the government,” Otuonye said.
He, therefore, assured the college of FMARD’s readiness to facilitate more projects into the school for the betterment of the school community.
Earlier, Dr Akinyemi Fadiyimu, the Provost of the College, appreciated the ministry for citing the projects in the institution, saying that the greenhouse would generate revenue for the school.
According to him, “if more of these facilities are located in the college, definitely, it will improve the training programmes of the school.
“As a training institution which trained future farmers and existing farmers, we need more of these facilities to be located in the college because we will able to show our students and get them involved practically.”
Fadiyimu, therefore, called for more funding for the agricultural sector, saying there should be massive investment in agricultural mechanisation, as well as agricultural training.
Also speaking, Mr Oluwafemi Ojo, Head of Department Horticultural Technology, said the greenhouse would be used to carry out experiments, which has to do with protected cultivation and commercial purpose.
“With the greenhouse, we will grow at least four sections of crops like tomato, cucumber, and red pepper, twice in a year.“We have about 20 students right now observing what we are doing while some of the students have three, four and six months SIWES from different universities,” Ojo said.