FOUNDER BAGS AWARD AGAIN
Another feather has been added to the cap of the Founder/President Emeritus of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN).
This time, it was the Agbekoya Farmers Association that honoured himat a well – attended ceremony at the Ajaleye International Civic Centre, Ado-Ekiti in Ekiti-State.
He was made the National Grand Patron of the Association in recognition of his immense contributions to the advancement of farming and improvement of societal development in general.
At the investiture, the National President General of the Association, High Chief Aremu Okikiolu, explained that Aare Afe Babalola, apart from being a foremost farmer, dedicated all his resources into promoting food surplus hence reduced the scourge of hunger to the bearest minimum. He opined that Aare’s agricultural strategies placed emphasis on the masses – centred grassroot farming that enable bottom-up development to be catalyst for growth in the State.
He lauded Aare Babalola for his constant support to the association adding that his investiture is symbolic because it signifies a new beginning, a dawn of new era and a declaration of total commitment towards food security for the greatest number of our people.
In his words of appreciation for the Association, Aare Afe Babalola thanked them for the conferment of the honour on him and pledged that he will not relent in his determination to improve the land and her people through his welfarist programmes. He frowned at the high rate of unemployment in the Country adding that the problem should have been solved if adequate attention had been given to full utilisation of the nation’s abundant natural resources.
Until the nation’s agricultural sector is revamped, Aare Afe Babalola was of the opinion that many potential farmers will shun the profession thereby aggravating the already food scarcity in the land. He called on citizens to embrace farming and be determined to succeed whatever the odds. According to him, government alone cannot do it hence requires the support of all. He enjoined them to form cooperative movements to achieve their aims.
Aare Afe Babalola therefore called on all stakeholders in food production to proffer solutions to poor funding of the agricultural sector.The Federal Government on her part should explore the vast agricultural resources in the State to create wealth and fight poverty among the people.
He outlined the efforts being made by his University to tackle Youth Unemployment which includeMassive Investment in Modern Agriculture. He reiterated the University’s determination to partner any organisation to achieve zero-graduate unemployment in Nigeria.
In his address, the representative of Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr.Bayo Adesua appealed for cooperation and unity among members. He reminded them that peaceful coexistence is the key to high rate of food production and industrialisation thereby reducing rural-urban migration.
He congratulated Aare Afe Babalola for being a pace-setter in all his endeavours.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion included the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sidi Osho and some members of her management team, top functionaries from Ekiti State government and the Obanla of Ijesa-Isu Ekiti, His Royal Highness, Oba Adeniyi.