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Varsity set to produce 800,000 tonnes of tomatoes



Barely 24 hours after the Federal Government ‎announced that the pest, Tuta absoluta, had invaded six states, the management of Benson Idahosa University (BIU), Benin City, yesterday said it was set to flood the market with an annual 800,000 tonnes of tomatoes from its farm.

Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ernest Izevbigie, disclosed during a press conference where he also said that the school’s agricultural department has concluded plan to turn out 300, 000 tonnes of grazing grass, annually to arrest community/Fulani herdsmen clashes in the country.

While noting that shortage of tomatoes in the country has become an embarrassment to the nation, Izevbigie said the BIU embarked on a research that would make tomatoes available all year round.

He said the school had already cultivated 10 hectares of the vegetable crop which is expected to produce 200,000 tonnes in every three months “and from our research and findings, we can do this four times in a year and all put together, we will be harvesting 800, 000 tonnes annually. With this, we can ameliorate the challenges posed by shortage of the crop.”

On the grazing grass, the VC said Nigeria can be self sufficient in forage production, noting that the country is blessed with abundant land to achieve this, adding that BIU was leveraging on the latest technology of forage production, the Hydroponics Technology, to achieve an annual harvest of grass crops.

“The impact of importation of exotic species of forage crops can have detrimental effects on our indigenous species”.

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  • ade

    Very great application of our own indigenous personnel and natural endowment to solve our own problems. I do not want to sound the other way, but some funny people in government would read this, and still go import tomatoes and forage grass, just to put money into their own pockets instead of exploiting our own manpower and resources and know how. We shall see.

  • Jimmy Essiet

    I hope that Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh will be patriotic enough to begin his search forage crops at Benson Idahosa University

  • Benny agafa

    I trust this government that they will alleviate your fear and they will collaborate with any groups or persons to make Nigeria great. Bravo BIU.

  • Stanley

    May God guide BIU to achieve this fit. This will be a rare break through by a private university and their success will stimulate other universities into massive investments using their research works and a serious move towards internally revenue generation. They have the knowledge, they have the manpower, what else. Kudos to BIU.

  • Idy2

    This is inspiring and consoling. Other universities should borrow a leaf. It is time we looked inward and utilized our matchless capabilities. We are a great and a blessed nation. Lets live it.