FUOYE Holds 5th National Conference and Stakeholders Meeting of the Society for Underutilized Legumes

By Eleniola Bamidele, Ekiti 

The Federal University Oye Ekiti, FUOYE in conjunction with, the Generic Resources Centre, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on Wednesday hosted a three-day international conference of the 5th Annual Conference of the Society for Underutilized Legumes, SUL. 

The event with the theme "Sustainable Opportunities for Orphan Crops in Food Security & Environmental Transformation” was held at the Faculty of Agriculture Auditorium, FUOYE, Ikole-Ekiti Campus, Ekiti State. 

In his opening address,  the Vice Chancellor, Professor Abayomi Sunday Fasina who was represented by the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Professor Adeyemi praised the Society for Underutilized Legumes for choosing FUOYE as the venue for the conference 

His words, "We expect more of this conference in our institution adding that the participant should try and go around the school and town"

"We need a seminar like this and we are glad it has been brought here to the university which is one of the fastest-growing universities in Nigeria. I appreciate the organizers for this "

Also speaking, the President of the Society for Underutilized Legumes,  Associate Professor Daniel Adewale while welcoming all delegates both physical and virtual, particularly the keynote speakers, Professors, said thier willingness and acceptance to be thier special guests despite their very busy schedules is highly commendable. 

"You are welcomed to the great campus, Federal University Oye Ekiti, Our venue and host for the 5th SUL meeting" We are going to IITA, Ibadan for the 6th Annual Conference

"I sincerely appreciate my Dean, Who is also standing for the Vice Chancellor, Professor Abayomi Fasina and I want. To thank the International Institute of Agric IItA, we have been together from the beginning of this meeting 

"The first meeting was called a symposium in 2016, we have some delays due to COVID-19, End SARS, ASUU strike, Cashless economy among others

Moreover, the Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee, LOC, Federal University Oye Ekiti chapter Professor Agbenih said "i stand on behalf of the Staff and Students of this great institution to welcome you all to Federal University Oye-Ekiti specifically the Faculty of Agriculture,  Ikole Ekiti Campus.

"We consider it a rare privilege and honor for the National Executive of Our society to assist us in hosting this conference in conjunction with Genetic and IITA

The representative of Ekiti State Government, Engr. Odesanmi Olugbenga said "This year's topic is well suited for Ekiti state. This is an area of interest to the Ekiti State Government and the Ministry of Agriculture and that's why I'm here presenting the State government.

"leguminous crops are dicotyledon plants and they are good for humans and the soil. because they provide us with nutrition foods" the PS in the Ministry of Agric further explained 

"Ikole and Oye local governments are special agricultural processing zones of Ekiti state. Adding that the development in this area is critical and university is critically situated here and we also have the technical support for the university that's Ekiti State Polytechnic, Isan Ekiti. 

"In this area, we have having agro-processing company, we have basic infrastructure, production sector and we are looking for financing from ADP or the Chinese govt. The state is pursuing this cos agriculture represents 40% of our GDP and employs  70/% of our population.

He however appreciated the university for the research on these necessary crops and urged researchers to ensure those crosses are traded Internationally.

Newsline NG however gathered that no fewer than four papers were presented by four keynote speakers at the conference which included;

Keynote Address 1: Sustainable Opportunities for 
orphan crops in food security and environmental 
transformation presented virtually  by Prof. Sean Mayes
Research Program Director, Accelerated Crop 
Improvement, ICRISAT, India

Keynote Address 2: Prof. Marshall Azeke
Deputy VC (Administration) Ambrose Ali 
Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria presented virtually on the topic of Unzipping functional  derivatives of unreferenced crop species

Keynote Address 3: Neglected crops to cash crops: 
socio-economic overview and promises by Prof. Morufat O. Balogun
Head, Dept. of Crop Protection & Environmental 
Biology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Keynote Address 4: Alerts on the genetic resources 
status and improvement tracks on Underutilized 
Legumes in Nigeria by co-founder of SUL in Nigeria, Prof. Michael Abberton Head, Genetic Resource Centre, IITA, Ibadan, 

Highlights of the conference include the presentation of abstracts by over ten students.

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