Agricultural Engineers have been charged to come up with new innovations that will attract youths to the business of farming and help the country come out completely of its current recession.
Vice Chancellor, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Prof. Francis Otunta, gave the charge at the 18th international Conference and 38th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers held in Umuahia,
Abia State recently, advising that measures should be taken to help move the nation from mono economy to a diversified economy, adding that a lot is needed to attract people to develop interest in Agriculture.
Also speaking, National Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers, Engr. (Dr.) Shuaibu Musa, said with the uncertainty and declining availability of income from oil revenue, transforming and industrialising agriculture for food and Agro-material production and processing offer a logical option.
Shuaibu pointed out that despite the various interventions by the Federal and the state governments in agricultural production, the interventions have not achieved the desired aim due to neglect or minimum involvement of agricultural engineers.
Professor Umezuruike Linus Opara in his paper presentation stressed the need for Nigerians to start patronising its products and stop the importation of foreign goods which he described as setback to the growth of Agriculture in the country.
He described agricultural investment as one of the most important and effective strategies for economic growth and poverty reduction in rural areas where the majority of the world’s poor live.
The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Dynamics of Agricultural Engineering for Food and Agro – Industrial raw materials production for Economic recovery in Nigeria’.