By Iduozee Paul, Benin
The Vice Chancellor, Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa, Prof. Babatunde Idowu, has disclosed that the institution has set up machinery to go into cocoa farming as part of efforts to tackle the nation’s unemployment crisis.
He spoke at his inaugural press conference at the institution in Ogwa, Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State.
Babatunde said Nigeria once had the tallest building called ‘the Cocoa House’ in the West and made so much money from cocoa production then. He explained that the university has undertaken to bring back the hey days by going into cocoa farming to rekindle economic growth and tackle the high rate of unemployment in the country.
Idowu said the university will also embark on research that will result in tremendous breakthroughs in the various academic fields.
“We intend to start a cocoa revolution in Esan land and the entire South-South region. Ghana was the first African country to start producing chocolate bars. Soon, GVU will start the production of chocolate.
“We have 667 hectares of land. I know that we have a large chunk of the land from the master plan and it is dedicated to agriculture. We have started our nursery for cocoa, we have started our nursery for cashew; we are improving on the oil palm nursery.
“We are going to start gradually and we are going to encourage the friends of the institution to assist us. In fact, within the next three months, the university will start an industrial park which will be a hub for large scale agricultural activities such as apiary, production of plantain chips, cassava flour, bread production, cocoa farming and processing among others”, he stated.
The new VC said the Sam Agbekoyega University will extend its technical-know-how in farming to its host community as part of its social responsibility towards boosting agriculture.