AgricultureEducation

VC Says Unilorin N600m Commercial Farm Will Boost Research, Food Security, IGR

The Vice-chancellor of the University of Ilorin, professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem says the Unilorin GGMAX Commercial Poultry Farm will contribute to food security and boost research and internally generated revenue of the institution.

The Vice Chancellor made this assertion at the inauguration of of the Unilorin GGMAX integrated Commercial Poultry Farm held at the institution 30 hectaresfarm at Amoyo, Ilorin.

He said that the faem is expected to contribute to food security, bridging the
wide gap between the demand for poultry products and the supply brought on largely by the ban on importation of poultry products.

Prof Age, while extolling the significance of the project in the history of the University, said the institution will see huge leap in its internally generated revenue making more money available in the areas of research and physical development.

“The journey has been long and hard for us as a University. The university took a N600 million loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), at a concessionary interest rate of 9% (5% for the first year) and a repayment period of 6 years, with a moratorium on the repayment of the principal for one year. Zenith Bank plc is the participating financial institution on the project.

“Accessing the loan required the University to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the project. The SPV is Unilorin Bizface synergy Limited, a limited liability company registered with the corporate affairs commission.

“To guarantee the loan from the CBN, the University worked out an irrevocable standing payment (ISPO) with Zenith Bank plc, ensuring Zenith Bank was paid quarterly the amount due, according to the harmonisation.

The project, which is placed on 30 hectares, started in February in the year 2022 and was commissioned 21st July.

The VC, said “the farm has 6 fully built Broilers’ pens with a capacity, of 5,000 birds each and another two of similar capacity, under construction to raise the total installed capacity to 40,000 Broilers, four fully built layers pens currently housing 17,000 layers, though with an installed capacity of 33,000, a Feed mill with an installed capacity of 5tons/hours, a semi-automated Broiler processing unit (BPU) with a capacity to process 1,000 birds/day and a manure processing unit.

“On job creation, at the height of construction, the site had over 200 artisans earning their daily sustenance from it. Today the farm has 55 full time employees and has created space for student of the hosting institution to work on part time basis.

He added that the University is also developing 2,000 hectares of land for Maize and Soya beans cultivation for the exclusive use of the poultry farm

The vice-chancellor, however, lauded the project and thanked the steering committee led by the deputy vice-chancellor, research, technology and innovation Professor Mikhail Olayinka Buhari for the efforts put in place to make the project reality and subsequent overseeing of the project.

Age said the farm would also boost tge research efforts of the University as it represents a Veritable laboratory for the students and the staff.

According to him, the students are also made to see first hand the entrepreneurial side of what they are taught in the classroom, re-orientating them to a mindset of creators of employment in the agribusiness sector.

In his address, the Kwara state governor Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said the farm will no doubt fill the huge gap between poultry products demand and supply in the state.

The governor, who was represented by the State’s Commissioner for communications, Mr Towojuola Bode George noted that the establishment of the farm in the state by the University will go a long way to mitigate against some challenges facing the country like weak animal health, poor and low livestock production, cattle rustling among others.

The governor said that the Integrated commercial poultry farm will boost employment, provide economic empowerment and enhance collaborative efforts with the state government in poultry production.

In his goodwill message, the Olofa of Offa, HRM Oba Mufutau Muhammed Gbadamosi Ajagungbade Esuwoye II lauded the initiative from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“This initiative by the apex bank and the concerted efforts by our own ‘better by far’ University management, would no doubt improve the landscape for our farmers to thrive and improve significantly. I am confident this project will further compel our scholars to dive deeper into researching more sustainable ways to improve the value chain.

“Their scholarly inventions could prove to be the panacea to combat and defeat various challenges faced in delivering quality protein to Nigerians,” the riyal father said.
Edited by Felix Ajide
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