A REPORT ON APRNet 5th AGRICULTURAL POLICY RESEARCH SEMINAR AND CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP AT NEEDS ASSESSMENT BUILDING, DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY, ASABA, DELTA STATE, NIGERIA ON FRIDAY,
9TH JUNE, 2017
Dr. Anthony O. Onoja (PhD)
President, Agricultural Policy Research Network (APRNet)
The first major event of APRNet for the year 2017 took place in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria on Friday, 9th June, 2017. This included convening of the 5th Agricultural Policy Research Seminar of APRNet and a Capacity Building Workshop which were declared opened by Professor Eric Eboh, the Job Creation Officer of Delta State and the Immediate Past President (and pioneer President) of APRNet. This was after a welcome remark from the host, the Provost, College of Agricultural Sciences, Delta State University Asaba and an address by the Immediate Past President of Farm Management Association of Nigeria. After this, Dr. Tony Onoja, the APRNet President, welcomed all participants to the dual event after a good will message during which he highlighted some key functions and milestones of APRNet over the last few years especially under his stewardship with the support of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)-Nigeria (under the leadership of Dr. George Mavrotas, IFPRI-Nigeria Programme Leader. On his part, Professor Eric Eboh lauded the current leadership of APRNet EXCO and took the entire audience to memory lane on how APRNet was formed plus a comprehensive elaboration of the major achievements as well as the roles expected of APRNet in Nigerian agricultural policy landscape. Prof. Eboh demonstrated in words and action his love and support for APRNet during the event. He was emphatic on the need to maintain the flagship programme of APRNet which is the Annual Stakeholders Forum on Making Research Work for End Users.
After a group photograph, the Policy Seminar was presented by Dr. Ebere Mercy Ndubisi-Ogaraku, a Senior Lecturer at Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, University of Port Harcourt. The paper, which was co-authored with Dr. Anthony O. Onoja was titled: The Nexus between Insurgency, Environment and Agricultural Livelihoods in Nigeria. The abstract of the paper is as follows:
Against the rising trend of insurgency, internally displaced persons (IDPs), poverty and hunger in Nigeria in a receding economy, the study was designed to review the linkages between insurgency, environment and agricultural livelihood activities in Nigeria. The study specifically (i) reviewed the theoretical linkages between environment, insecurity and agricultural livelihoods; (ii) x-rayed the trend and nature of insurgency in Nigeria lately; (iii) identified the empirical linkages between environment, insecurity and agricultural livelihoods in Nigeria. The study was anchored on Homer-Dixon's theory of eco-violence. It was observed that there are new modes of insurgency in the country over time, spanning from the Niger Delta militancy started by Isaac Boro to Avengers era in the Niger Delta and the current Boko Haram insurgencies menacing the citizens in the South-South and North-East Nigeria respectively. Empirical and theoretical data affirmed the complexity and inter connectivity between the problems in focus. The interacting tripartite problems have led to poor yield of crops and livestock, unemployment, migration, flood, increased IDPs, food insecurity, loss of farm assets, human lives, pollution and rising poverty, most of which reinforced each other. The policy responses by the Nigerian government were articulated. Based on the findings it was recommended that the recently signed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the present administration be fully implemented; constructive and diplomatic engagement between the government and leaders of insurgent groups needs to be consolidated; while government should increase will in tackling the problems of desert encroachment and Lake Chad shrinking; the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoni land should be fully implemented and applied in other areas of the Niger Delta region. Government and donor agencies should consider programmes that will support farmers and agribusinesses owners regarding supply of farm inputs and conducive environment for agribusinesses operation. Grazing lands should be established to settle the herdsmen.
After the seminar presentation and tea break, the second session of the programme, which is a capacity building workshop commenced. Dr. Anthony O. Onoja (APRNet President) trained the participants on the Sub-Theme: How to Write a Grant Wining Proposal, while Dr. Ibisime E. Etela, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science & Principal Research Fellow, Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, University of Port Harcourt, held a training session on the topic: Capacity Building for Fundable Integrated Agricultural Policy Research.
The Goal of the Capacity Building Workshop were to :
v Increase the ability of APRNet members and its stakeholders to identify local problems and their solutions.
v Enlighten participants/members on the requirements of funders of research and development projects donors.
v Stimulate the interest of APRNet members in competitive grant winning for themselves and their institutions.
v Equip APRNet members with the skills for conducting funded trans-disciplinary research of relevance to agricultural policy and rural development at national, regional and global levels.
The event came to an end after an interactive session that lasted for about one hour followed by a lunch session at about 3.40 PM. The event came to a close after a vote of thanks from the APRNet President and a remark from the LOC Chair, Professor P. C. Ike, the APRNet Vice President. The event was attended by 70 participants stakeholder from across the country fields of agriculture. Some copies of Nigerian Agricultural Policy Research Journal (NAPReJ) were donated to the University by the EXCO.
Pictures of the event are as follows:
Figure 1. Prof. Eric Eboh, Immediate Past President, APRNet and Job Creation Officer, Delta State declaring the occasion opened
Figure 2: President of APRNet, Dr. Tony O. Onoja giving an opening remark while Prof. Eboh, FAMAN Immediate Past President and Provost (Rep.) of the College of Agriculture at the University looked on
Figure 3: Dr. Mercy E. Ndubueze-Ogaraku presenting her seminar paper during the event
Figure 4: Audience Listening with rapt attention during the events
Figure 5: Dr. I. Etela, one of the Resource persons for the Grant Winning Proposal Writing Workshop of APRNet at Asaba on 9th June, 2017
Figure 6: APRNet EXCO Posed with the Immediate Past President of APRNet and the Key Note Speaker of the day, Professor Eric Eboh (3rd from the left). To the immediate right to him is the incumbent President, Dr. Tony O. Onoja, Dr. Mercy E. Ndubueze-Ogaraku (Assistant Secretary), Dr. Celestine E. Nze (APRnet Secretary) and to the extreme, Prof. PC Ike, APRNet Vice President. First left stood Dr. Odinaka Ejiogu, South East Regional Coordinator and followed by Dr. Gloria Ujor, APRNet Treasurer.
Figure 6: Group Photograph of some participants at the event
Figure 7: EXCO Members present posed shortly after the event.
Figure 8: The LOC Chair and Vice President of APRNet, Prof. PC Ike declaring the event closed.