According to a recent report by the News Agency of Nigeria , Mr Samuel Samuel, The Chairman of Origin Group of Companies, Lagos, on Monday in Ilorin, donated a tractor and 2, 000 hectares greenhouse to the University of Ilorin. A greenhouse is a glass building used for growing plants that need warmth, light and protection.Samuel, who handed over the items to Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali, the Vice Chancellor of the university, said it was in recognition of the institution’s “transparent commitment and dedication to agriculture”.
He also made a promise of similar donation to two other universities – the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta and Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti.
The entrepreneur disclosed that graduates of the universities employed by his company were “brilliant” in their fields. Samuel said his company would sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the universities to promote a five-year programme in agriculture.
According to him, a greenhouse can yield 170 tonnes of tomatoes worth N6 to 8 million annually, with 75 per cent profit.
“I look forward to the time when agriculture would be the centre of attraction at the University of Ilorin and the symbol of the institution.
“It is possible for its graduates to own a greenhouse each and earn about N4 million per annum from agricultural ventures,” he said.
He believed that it was only agriculture that could directly teach the young ones the value of hard work.
Samuel observed that no nation had ever developed without agriculture, and pledged to train one million youths in various agricultural practice, who would be employers of labour.
In his response, Ambali appreciated the gesture and pledged that the institution would continue to train graduates that would compete in the global market.
He expressed the hope that the partnership between the university and the company would benefit the students greatly.
This is indeed a laudable project and I hope more and more African entrepreneurs emulate this gesture and use technology to attract Youths to Agriculture and Agribusiness.
I also hope the universities getting this greenhouse utilise them effectively, we don’t want to see a case of watching the green house until it rots and isn’t put into good use. What do you think? (Please share your thoughts as comments below)