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Ekiti varsity unveils N1bn agro-tech fund



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The Chancellor of Ekiti State University, Dr Tunji Olowolafe, has announced the launch of a N1bn Innovation Fund aimed at empowering agro-tech enterprises founded by the university’s students and graduates.

According to a statement, Olowolafe unveiled the initiative at the 28th convocation of the Ekiti State University, which took place on April 3-4, 2024.

Addressing the gathering, Olowolafe stressed the urgent need to drive innovation and enterprise in agriculture to bolster food security across Nigeria.

He highlighted the immense potential for innovation and inclusive growth within local agricultural communities.

He said, “Agriculture stands as the backbone of our nation, and it is here that I see the greatest potential for innovation and economic prosperity.

“The N1bn Innovation Fund is designed to empower agro-tech companies founded by present graduands and students of our great Ekiti State University.”

The chancellor further urged students and academics to actively engage in food production efforts.

He proposed the optimisation of the university’s fertile lands for agricultural purposes, which would enable students to lease small plots and gain hands-on experience in farming, while simultaneously earning a living.

He added, “Today Your Excellency, the general discussion in Nigeria is about cost of living and food security. All of us eat. But many of us do not spend time thinking about what we eat, how it is produced and how it gets to our table. These are very important questions.

“Each student can lease a small plot of land for production. As we learn to pass our exams, we can also use these farms to eat and earn a living.

“My view is regardless of what we are studying at university, we must all think about how we can do our bit to produce food. This means both the academic and student faculties must come together to think and act.“

The chancellor also encouraged students to explore diverse opportunities replete in the agricultural value chain, from grains and vegetables to poultry, fisheries, and even agri-logistics and app development.

According to Olowolafe, 100 of the university’s brightest minds would be engaged in global business process outsourcing to enable them to contribute to the economy

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