Wednesday, September 9, 2020

TETFund Centre of Excellence in Food Security Takes Off in UniJos

Activities at the newly established TETfund Centre of Excellence in Food Security in the University of Jos will soon commence. This follows the appointment of a Director to head the Centre by Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jos, Professor Seddi Sebastian Maimako. 

The Centre is to be headed by Professor Paul Amaza, a Professor of Agricultural Economics in the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Jos. Before his appointment, Professor Amaza was the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and has over Twenty years’ experience in implementing consultancy projects in Africa’s Agricultural Development and Food Security sector. The appointment took effect from 1st September, 2020.

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) had earlier approved the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Food Security in the University of Jos and awarded the sum of Forty-Five (45) Million Naira to the University as its intervention towards inaugurating the Centre. 

This is pursuant to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to TETfund to focus on the development of Centres of Excellence in the nation’s University system.

The Centre is expected to engage in impactful multidisciplinary research that will contribute to the current Administration’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda and ensure the entrenchment of food security in Africa. 

Several major disciplines are envisaged to engage in cutting edge research towards improving the capacity of Farmers and boosting their productivity as well as enhance sustainable Agricultural practices in Africa. 

These include Agricultural Economics and Extension, Agronomy, Soil Fertility and Management, Livestock Breeding, Production and Management, Arable and Irrigated Crops Production, Horticulture as well as Fisheries.

Other disciplines involved in this initiative are Veterinary Medicine where the treatment of Livestock diseases and management and Public Health issues involving zoonotic diseases would be the focus.

In the Environmental Sciences, special attention would be accorded to Climate Change mitigation measures as it effects food security whereas in the Health Sciences, Nutrition and Food Safety issues would be the main focus of the research enterprise. 

The cross-disciplinary engagements would also involve the Natural Sciences especially Plant Science and Biotechnology in addition to the deployment of contemporary technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and Data Science in undertaking research work and innovations.

Furthermore, in the area of Engineering, greater consideration would be directed at the deployment of appropriate technologies for production and value addition while in the Management Sciences, the work would centre around examining the efficacy of modern approaches to Agricultural Economics and Management.

The areas of research will cut across these main disciplines with a view towards adapting alternative energies and deploying low-cost irrigation farming techniques for boosting food security in Nigeria as well as the development of vaccines in different areas of need.

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