Thursday, January 16, 2020 10:33 pm
By Jethro Ibileke
Authorities of Samuel Adegboyega University, Ogwa in Esan West local government area of Edo State, has said that the University would soon pioneer the production of chocolate bars in the country.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Babatunde Idowu, announced this on Thursday during his inaugural press conference since he assumed office.
Idowu who noted that the nation once had the tallest building called the Cocoa House in the whole of sub-saharan Africa with proceeds from Cocoa production, added that the University has made it its duty to bring back the hay days by going into cocoa farming to tackle the high rates of the nation’s unemployment.
“We intend to start a Cocoa revolution in Esan land and the entire South-South region. In fact, Ghana was the first Africa country to start producing chocolate bars. Soon, [the University] will start the production of chocolate.
“We have six hundred and sixty seven 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 cashews, we are improving on the oil palms 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 said.
Prof. Idowu who described poor funding of research as one of the biggest challenges confronting universities in the country, said the federal government needed to provide more funds for research in universities.
According to him, “One of the biggest challenge is non funding of research projects, there are many professors who fund their researches on their own.
“There is need for government to do more. We have done so many researches, but the results are not being used.”
He said his administration is also working to rebrand the University, with special focus on engineering, architecture and nursing.