The Dean, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Nda Mundi, says that farmers need affordable credit facilities in order to enhance their productivity.
Mundi, who made this call while delivering the 11th Inaugural Lecture of NOUN in Abuja, said such facilities would address the problem of poverty especially in rural area.
The theme of lecture is “Agricultural Innovations and Rural Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria.”
The professor of Agriculture Extension said that such facilities should comprise farming innovations, provision of and improved extension services.
“Specific recommendations of package of innovation practices for the cultivation of high yielding varieties for farmers of all categories should be made separately instead of only one set of practice.
“There is need to increase the level of awareness of rural populace to the importance of education as majority of rural women are not educated.
“This will make the rural women to use the various opportunities that may open to them to get out poverty.”
Mundi emphasised the need for philanthropists and government at all levels to foster opportunities for rural farmers, especially in the area of infrastructures and credit facilities.
He said that credit facilities through banks and cooperatives should be made available well in advance to the farmers and the procedure should be made very simple.
The don noted that innovation and education was important in boosting the yield of farmers.
On his part, NOUN’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, said that inaugural lecture was critical to the life of every university.
He said that that the topic was apt as agriculture played a vital role in the country.
Adamu challenged other professors in the university that had yet to deliver inaugural lectures to come up with topics for the academic exercise.
“We need more professors to come up with what they are doing and topics so we can organise inaugural lectures for them.
“We are ready for inaugural lectures; NOUN is no longer a sleeping dog but a roaring lion in the intellectual community,” the vice-chancellor said.