By Atabor Julius:
The pride of every nation is to attain food sufficiency, which is an antidote against social demeanour. Nigeria’s effort at achieving the desired level of food sufficiency to meet its teeming population estimated at 200 million, cannot be overemphasised.
However, it has become a misnomer for the nation that any time it is virtually beating its chest for attainment of food sufficiency, one natural disaster or the other would occur.
In 2007 when the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo announced to the world its feat in being able to feed the country and the entire West African sub region with birds and poultry demands, from the blues came the dreaded birds flu which attacked the country’s major farms, with the development undermining the dream of Nigeria being a major player among poultry producers in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the same manner, when the present APC-led government started to make an inroad into massive production of cereals and tubers even at the point of exporting yams to Europe and America, the sad tales occurred with stark reality of armyworms eating up corns, maize, yams cassava palm tree, such that as at last February, the disease had spread to 22 states of the Federation, rendering many hectares of maize plantations malnourished, without maize buds for expected harvest.
Nigeria’s annual turnover of US$6billion from the maize industry is currently being threatened by an array of diseases, especially African army worm caterpillar ravaging farms across the country, and if not tackled, might threaten national food security.
According to Research for Development Director, Western Africa, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Robert Asiedu, in a recent interview promised Nigerians that the Institute may come up with a short –term solution of introducing chemicals to control the diseases, adding that in the long run, it has embarked on developing disease- resistant maize to put out the diseases completely.
However, while the nation is patiently waiting for solution to this national challenge , one man known for his researches into contemporary problems facing his world is a Professor of Analytical Chemistry. His wide experience in teaching and research in various universities in the United States as well as serving previously as Commissioner for Science and technology in Kogi state and presently a senior lecturer in the department of Chemistry, Kogi State University Anyigba, is Professor Aaron Baba who took the gauntlet to rescue the nation from imminent hunger and starvation with his latest discovery of Goldmax Total Crop Protection Insecticides .
In this encounter with our Correspondent Atabor Julius, the world acclaimed Professor of Analytical Chemistry and Manufacturer has this to say:-
According to Professor Baba, the major problem to food sufficiency in Nigeria today especially crops such as maize, cassava, yams, palm trees, millets, is the menace of armyworms which can wipe out hectares of these crops in seconds. And if drastic measures are not taken, the nation risks the effect of hunger and starvation.
He added: “So we decided to contribute our quota to the survival of our country with our painstaking and well researched insecticides that can kill the army worms in minutes.
“Our mission with Goldmax Pesticides is to produce environmentally-friendly products that are nontoxic, non-poisonous and that address specific pest challenges. With this in mind, we have developed Goldmax Insecticide and Repellant that is safe to apply to skin and can be sprayed while inside the room.
“It is effective against mosquitoes, cockroaches, spiders and other common household pests. We have also developed effective solutions against lizards, wall geckos, lizards, snakes, rats and mice. We were also working on the development of an effective protection against common pests that threaten crops, then the news of the threat of armyworms broke out .”
According to the Professor: “We then decided to focus on the development of a solution against army worm which our product Goldmax Total Crop Protection has been tested by the Kogi State Ministry of Agriculture and confirmed to be effective against armyworms even as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has ordered for the product to confirm its effectiveness. We have tested on local farms here in lokoja with astounding effectiveness. We urge the government of these affected states and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to tap into the window provided by our product to save the nation from huge loss of foreign exchange.”
Asked to explain its usage, he noted that to get effective dilution one needs 80 ml of the chemical to 16 litres of water (equivalent of one knap sack sprayer). Approximately 600 milliters (0.6 liters) of Goldmax Total Crop Protection can be diluted to treat one hectare of farmland.
“The treatment will eliminate the armyworms in less than thirty minutes. In addition, the treatment is effective against 100 different insects and has residual activity and potency of up to 28 days.
“The government policy of diversification into agriculture is highly commendable. The policy will provide food for our teeming population, offer employment opportunity for our youths, afford opportunity for earning foreign exchange and create wealth for our people and with the incidence of the present high unemployment rate , especially among the youths agriculture is the sine qua non.
He added that the government’s Anchor Borrowers Scheme should be adopted by all the states of the Federation to make agriculture attractive to young persons as it will acquire land for farming in all the 774 Local Government Areas and give two to five hectares to each young farmer.
“Government would provide all the needed farm inputs as loan, which will be paid back after harvesting the produce, for which buyers would have been identified as these young farmers would own the farm, manage it and retain the
What advice for the government to making tertiary Institutions to be the driving force to actualise the diversification policy of the Buhari Administration?
Professor Baba thumped down for the curriculum of tertiary institutions, as it is today need to address the necessary fundamentals and latest information in the fields but should highlight more on the practical application of such knowledge to topical societal challenges.
However my experience of combining teaching and manufacturing has been very
exciting for me. This has enabled me to apply my chemistry background to offer unique products that satisfied our customers demand. And they are craving about our product chain namely Goldmax Pesticides and Multilife Drinks which is a fast moving product in the beverages industry and they are produced here in Lokoja, the Kogi capital. “However my experience of combining teaching and manufacturing has been very
exciting for me. This has enabled me to apply my chemistry background to offer unique products that satisfied our customers demand.and they are craving about our product chain namely Goldmax Pesticides and Multilife Drinks which is a fast moving product in the beverages industry and they are produced here in Lokoja, the Kogi capital.