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May 27, 2024

Ekiti Varsity Launches  N1bn agro-tech fund to Drive Innovation, Enterprise in Agric Sector 

In an effort to empower agro-tech enterprises, the Vice Chancellor of Ekiti State University, Dr. Tunji Olowolafe, has launched the groundbreaking N1 billion Innovation Fund for the university’s students and graduates in the industry.

The newly appointed VC made the announcement during his remarks at the 28th convocation of the Ekiti State University, which took place on  3rd and 4th of April, 2024. 

Dr Olowolafe while congratulating the graduands and the institution, unveiled the bold initiative, stressing that it underscored the urgent need to drive innovation and enterprise in agriculture to bolster food security across Nigeria.

Addressing thousands of graduands, faculty, and guests, Dr. Olowolafe emphasised the vital role agriculture plays as the backbone of the nation’s economy. He highlighted the immense potential for innovation and inclusive growth within local agricultural communities.

In his words: “Agriculture stands as the backbone of our nation, and it is here that I see the greatest potential for innovation and economic prosperity,” stated Dr. Olowolafe.

“The one billion naira Innovation Fund is designed to empower agro-tech companies founded by present graduands and students of our great Ekiti State University.”

The Chancellor further, while urging students and academics alike to actively engage in food production efforts, proposed optimising the university’s fertile lands for agricultural purposes, enabling students to lease small plots and gain hands-on experience in farming, while simultaneously earning a living.

“Today your excellency, the general discussion in Nigeria is about cost of living and food security. All of us eat. But many of us do not spend time thinking about what we eat, how it is produced and how it gets to our table. These are very important questions.”

“Each student can lease a small plot of land for production. As we learn to pass our exams, we can also use these farms to eat and earn a living.

“My view is regardless of what we are studying at university, we must all think about how we can do our bit to produce food. This means both the academic and student faculties must come together to think and act,” he added.

Recognising the multifaceted nature of agriculture, the Chancellor encouraged students to explore diverse avenues, from grains and vegetables to poultry, fisheries, and even agri-logistics and app development.

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