By Abubakar Baba Ahmad
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University ATBU Bauchi has restated commitment towards transforming agriculture from a mere cultural practice to a robust business venture.
Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Muhammadu Ahmad Abdulazeez made the commitment while presenting scholarship to two students awarded by a Fertilizer and Chemical company in Bauchi.
Professor Muhammadu Abdulazeez said agriculture is being transformed from subsistent farming to a digital technology driven venture, hence the resolve of the university to restrategise and bring new ideas in that direction.
“We are moving towards reality, and what I mean by reality is that when you look, the era of oil is gone because today the price reduce the next day if increases but when you look at prices of food items, they appreciate almost everyday and we spend a lot of money everyday and the strength of Nigeria is more on Agriculture (agribusiness), he argued.”
He said already, the institution has entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding with key actors in the private sector to maximise knowledge and potentials in key areas of agriculture such as soil mapping among others.
The Vice Chancellor who used the medium to commend the scholarship awarder for kind gesture, expressed optimism that the initiative would increase the number of prospective students willing to study agriculture-based courses.
Earlier, the Representative of the Fertilizer Company and Head of Marketing North East Dr Abubakar Abdullahi said with a daily production of eight thousand metric tons capacity, the company has the largest Urea plant in the world.
“Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University is the first research institution among the entire north eastern universities that we liased with to establish a crop demonstration plot, and at present we are renovating twenty thousand toilets in Bauchi State, we are installing sanitary toilet pans SATO in our local toilets, he disclosed.”
He charged the beneficiaries of the scholarship and other students to study hard and get a maximum of three point zero cgpa to be able to secure employment with the company.
On his part the Dean Faculty of Agriculture Professor Ahmad Sarki Fagam who spoke on the efforts made to benefit from the scholarship, expressed optimism that the initiative will spur other students to do better.
Speaking with Radio Nigeria, the award recipients Umar Tijjani Ahmad and Adama Deborah Papetua from department of Crop Production expressed delight with the scholarship and promised to invest the money in studies to graduate with better grades.
One hundred and fifty thousand naira was awarded each to the two students with the best cgpa in the faculty of agriculture, and another twenty are expected to benefit from the initiative.