AE-FUNAI IRUKA Centre Task Ndigbo To Embrace Agriculture 

Mar 21, 2024 - 11:23
 0  21
AE-FUNAI IRUKA Centre Task Ndigbo To Embrace Agriculture 

By Oko OMAKA (Abakaliki)

The IRUKA Centre of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu- Alike, (AE-FUNAI) Ebonyi State, has called on Ndigbo to embrace agriculture as one of their sources of survival in the prevailing harsh economy.

The IRUKA Centre is the Centre for the study of the future of Igbo and held this year public lecture series with the theme ‘’Charting a sustainable Agricultural Economy for the South Eastern Nigeria; A Path to Igbo Remarkable Resilience was held at the Rock Gallery of the Centre."

Declaring the lecture open, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sunday Elom, represented by the Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Dr. Onuorah Nweke, said the IRUKA Center has as its mandate the education and public enlightenment of staff, students of the university and the public about the Igbo culture.

He noted that the lecture was geared towards encouraging staff, students and indeed the entire Igbo nation on the need to acquire relevant knowledge about the relevance of agriculture in tackling the prevailing hunger and poverty in the country, and strategically plan for the future ahead. 

The Vice-Chancellor commended the IRUKA Center for the energy, time and resources it had put in place in organizing the lecture and in educating staff and students of the University and Ndigbo in general, urging all stakeholders to join hands together in promoting agriculture in the Southeast of Nigeria for the betterment of the Igbo economy.

In his lecture, the guest speaker, Prof. Dr. Johnny Ogunji, said agriculture is an all-inclusive terminology used to represent in many ways in which crops, plants and domestic animals sustain the global human population by providing food and other products. 

He stated that through agriculture, people are provided with lots of economic opportunities, which in turn helps in developing a nation, adding that agriculture has proven to be extremely beneficial to human existence, economic development and individual sustenance.

He stressed that sustaining agriculture calls for a conducive environment to ensure profitability, through the collaborative activities of farmers, distributors, retailers and consumers. 

Continuing, Ogunji noted that agriculture is not just a combination of practices that involve the process of negotiation but also involves sensitization, persuasion and conviction of individuals, groups and governments to take the right action.

The guest speaker further noted that Igbo need to partner with foreign countries to learn how they developed their countries through agriculture , and called on Igbo communities to prioritise the production, processing and marketing of cassava, yam, Coco yam, fish, poultry, okro, onions, ube, ukwa and other products to reduce the rate of hunger in Igbo land and the country at large.

He explained that the Igbo proverbs which say, 'Aka aja aja na-ebute onu mmanu mmanu, Aanoro ofu ebe ekiri Mmanwu, Aku na-esi obi ike' give Igbo more power and energy to struggle to better their lives and Igbo land.

He added that Ndi Igbo are one of the most entrepreneurial and hard-working tribes in Nigeria and that the Igbo people have over the years demonstrated a strong will to develop their society and the economy of the country.

Also speaking, the Provost of College of Medical Sciences and chairman, Board of the Centre, Prof. Paul Ezeonu, noted that for agriculture to thrive in Igbo land, families, institutions and governments at all levels need to educate and sensitise the people on what Igbo culture is all about.

He added that the lecture taught the participants to rethink on how agriculture could help the Igbo land in terms of producing foods that even non Igbo could still purchase. 

He further called on interested stakeholders to partner with the department of agriculture of the university for increased agricultural productivity.

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Acting Director, IRUKA Centre, Dr. Anne Nwaknwo, commended the Vice- Chancellor for his r