Vice-Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Professor Francis Ogbonnaya Otunta has affirmed that evolving feasible and appropriate level of Agricultural Mechanization in Nigeria will ensure self sufficiency in food fibre production, employment creation, reduction in food importation and conservation of foreign exchange.

He stated this while declaring open the first ever conference on Agricultural Mechanization in Nigeria by the Department of Agriculture and Bioresources Engineering, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology with the theme “Mechanization of Root and Tuber Production and processing in Nigeria at MOUAU.

Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Madu Iwe, Professor Otunta described the timing of conference as appropriate, having come at a time the fall in the oil market coupled with the reduction in crude production, free lead inflation leading to alarming increase in the cost of food, fibre for man, animal and industries.

Presenting a welcome address, Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, Engr. Dr. J.C. Adama called on the Federal Government to formulate a national policy on agriculture mechanization in Nigeria.

In a keynote address, “MECHANIZATION OF ROOT AND TUBER PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING IN NIGERIA,” the director general of the National Board for Technology Incubation, Abuja, Engr. Dr. Jubril Mohammed said that sustainable food security and welfare cannot be achieved through subsistence agriculture, explaining that the future prospects for Agricultural Mechanization in Nigeria rest on the development of machines and equipment.