The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, says that crop breeding, agronomic management and conditioning of storage facilities are essential for increased seed longevity for maize, kenaf and grain legumes.
The Executive Director of IAR&T, Prof. Veronica Obatolu, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Monday that the institute in achieving this goal had to prioritise research into those crops to enhance food security.
Obatolu, a professor of food nutrition, said that in achieving food security, seeds were the most important living inputs in crop production.
She added that yields from crops would be pivoted on the quality of seeds planted.
She said that the cost of producing quality seeds for farmers to plant yearly would be higher than what it would cost to store the same quantity of seeds under suitable conditions for future use.
According to Obatolu, good storage also ensures the purity of seeds than the frequent production in the field.
“Hence, a lot of work in the institute is being channelled into improving the storability of seeds.
“The main benefit of our research on improved shelf life of crops to farmers is improved income and livelihood; this is because the farmers have access to adequate and quality seeds to plant at the right time.
“Planting high quality seeds results in good crop establishment, vigorous plants and ultimately higher yield at harvest.
“Another important benefit of improved seeds to farmers is the high value of produce and products derived from the use of high quality seeds, the products command higher prices,” the IAR&T Executive Director said.
According to her, availability of quality and nutritious food to the populace at affordable prices contributes largely to food security and assurance of peace in a nation.
She added that the institute’s effort at ensuring adequate seed supply in the system was directly contributing to the nation’s food security programme.
“Most especially, the provision of additional technical support to farmers in terms of preservation of renewable resources through seeds and value addition has grossly improved their livelihood.
“The institute has made a giant stride in research breakthroughs.
“Many of our technologies in terms of value addition to food products, food preservation, low cost agronomic practices, and improvement of varieties and seed availability have been adopted by farmers all over the nation.
“Many of our products such as drinks made from soybean, plant-based cookies and snacks as well as plant-protein-based-food items are already in the markets,” she said.
Obatolu also said that the most important way farmers could improve their yields per hectare is by planting improved varieties and adopt the use of quality seeds.
She advised farmers to also follow the recommended guidelines for production of each crop, saying that timeliness and appropriateness of operations and inputs are important for farmers to achieve high yields.
“Crop production is weather responsive; so time of planting, time of application as well as correctness in application of input must be respected by farmers.
“All other cultural practices such as plant population density, crop protection against weeds, pests, diseases and other natural enemies, timely harvesting and proper techniques of post-harvest handling must be done at the right time and appropriately,” she said.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Peter Dada (NAN)
Bank robbery: Police arrest 3 more suspects in Oyo
The Police Command in Oyo State says it has arrested three more members of the gang that robbed the First Bank branch in Okeho, Kajola Local Government Area of the state.
Olugbenga Fadeyi, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, comfirmed the arrest of the suspects in a statement on Tuesday in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the bank was attacked on July 29 by armed robbers who took away an undisclosed amount of money.
Fadeyi, who said that the total number of suspects so far arrested in connection with the robbery was now five, added that they were being interrogated by the Special Anti-Robbey Squad in Ibadan.
He said that the suspects were arrested with the cooperation of vigilance group members, hunters and residents of the community.
The robbers, who came in an 18-seater bus, were later chased by members of a vigilance group, resulting in their bus summersulting due to overspeeding.
Three of the robbers were set ablaze by an angry mob while others escaped.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Limit your speed on highways to avoid crashes, FRSC urges motorists
The Ogun Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has warned motorists to limit their speed while on the highways in order to avoid unnecessary road traffic crashes.
NAN reports that Umar was reacting to the accident that occurred on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, leading to the death of three persons, with seven others injured.
Umar said that the accident could have been averted, if the commercial bus had adhered strictly to the speed limit.
“The FRSC wants to appeal to motorists to install speed limit devices in their vehicles to regulate and prevent tragedy, when accidents occur,” he said.
The sector commander enjoined motorists to refrain from putting used tyres on their vehicles so as to avoid unnecessary mishaps on the road.
Umar, however, condoled with the families of the accident victims and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the losses.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Intervene in 37-year-old kingship tussle in Ikire, Residents urge Osun govt.
Residents of Ikire community in Irewole Local Government area of Osun have appealed to the state government to intervene in the 37-year-old kingship tussle in the town.
Some of the residents, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ikire on Tuesday, said that the tension, which the tussle was creating in the town, was becoming unbearable.
NAN reports that the battle for the throne had started in 1987 after the demise of the former monarch, Oba Oseni Oyegunle.
NAN also reports that when the process of appointing a new monarch started, one of the five ruling houses, Aketula, presented a candidate, Mr Tajudeen Olanrewaju, in line with the Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy Declaration of 1958.
Before the process of Olanrewaju’s installation could be completed, two ruling houses, Ladekan and Lanbeloye, went to court to challenge the inclusion of Aketula in the ruling houses.
An Ile-Ife High Court, Ile-Ife, where the matter was instituted, consequently stopped Olanrewaju’s installation as the monarch, while the incumbent, Oba Olutunde Falabi, was installed in May 1993.
Even though he lost at the Appeal Court, Ibadan, Olanrewaju proceeded to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, in its judgment on April 11, 2014, affirmed that Aketula was one of the ruling houses, as provided in the 1958 Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy Declaration.
The Supreme Court also held that in view of the evidence on record, “it shows that the 1958 Declaration, in respect of the Akire of Ikire Chieftaincy stool, has not been amended or repealed.’’
Following the judgment, the incumbent monarch approached the High Court in Ikire, praying it to restrain the state government from deposing him because he had not committed any offence warranting his removal.
He also pleaded with the court to restrain the state governor, the commissioner for justice and the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs from deposing him, while his incumbency subsisted.
Justice Abdulkareem of Ikire High Court, in his judgment of June 29, however, said that Falabi could no longer occupy the stool, based on the 1958 Akire Declaration and the rotational procedure contained therein.
He said that by order of rotation, the process of appointing Olarenwaju, who is from Aketula ruling house, was almost completed before it was stopped by the court.
“Another compelling reason why the plaintiff, Oba Falabi, has to vacate the stool is because his appointment is a nullity. This is because he was not validly nominated by the ruling house or validated by the state government.
“I equally find and hold that based on the overwhelming evidence adduced before me, that the plaintiff, who has already spent three decades on the throne, must not continue to occupy the throne of Akire of Ikire.
“To hold otherwise, will amount to a great travesty of justice.
“The Supreme Court is the highest court in Nigeria and its judgment is binding on all lower courts, and failure to do so amounts to gross insubordination,” the judge ruled.
Alhaji Bamidele Kadir, a resident of the town, said that a situation whereby two people were laying claim to the Akire stool was not good for the development of the town.
Kadir appealed to the state government to intervene by implementing the Supreme Court judgment on the kingship tussle for peace to reign in the town.
He said that the recent High Court pronouncement on the kingship matter had been causing tension in the town.
Also speaking, Mrs Iyabo Olayiwola, another resident, said it was only government’s intervention that could bring peace to the town.
Olayiwola, who said that the kingship matter had been generating tension in the town, appealed to government to do the needful.
Another resident, Mr Bode Olayiwola, also said that the development of the town should be paramount to both the indigenes and the government.
He urged the state government give proper interpretation to the two court judgments on the matter and take the right step in order to nip the tension in the bud.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Toddler, 2 others die in Ogun lone accident
A toddler as well as a six-year-old girl and one other person were confirmed dead while six others sustained injuries in a lone accident on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi, the spokesperson of the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), confirmed the deaths to newsmen in Abeokuta on Tuesday.
He said the accident, which involved a Mazda bus marked FUF109ZD coming from Kwara inbound Lagos, happened around the Youth Camp on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
Akinbiyi, who said that the accident occurred at about 2:05pm, added that it was caused by a burst tyre which resulted in the bus summersaulting.
“Six persons comprising four females and two males got injured while a toddler, a six-year-old girl and another female died in the accident.
“We learnt that the commercial bus was coming from Kwara state inbound Lagos when it had a burst tyre due to excessive speeding with a female toddler losing her life immediately while a six- year -old girl and another female died later at Idera Hospital, Sagamu,” he said.
The TRACE spokesman said the injured victims were currently receiving treatment at Idera Hospital in Sagamu while the corpses would be taken to Fakoya private morgue in the community.
He commiserated with the family of the deceased while admonishing motorists to desist from over-inflating or under-inflating tyres.
Akinbiyi also cautioned drivers against excessive speeding, especially in diversion and construction zones.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)