Adeyemi College of Education (ACE) by her mandate is not only involved in teaching of students, she has responsibility towards improving the well-being of the community where she is located. As part of this community service, the College is currently embarking on increased agricultural and especially livestock production.
The College has a total population of about 20,000 (staff and students). The institution also serves as a resource centre for surrounding agrarian communities around Ondo town where it is situated. The Agricultural farm of the college in its present capacity produces about 10,000 liters of palm oil and 4 tonnes of palm kernel annually. The piggery and poultry units also produce meat and foundation stock for the member of the College community and farmers around the College.
The Agricultural Extension unit of the Department of Agricultural Science also facilitates the training of farmers on improved varieties and also on issues such as adaptation and mitigation of climate change and the dissemination of timely information to farmers on any other breakthrough in research.
Oil Palm Production
Situation of Oil Palm Production in Nigeria
The Oil palm, Elaeis guineensis, has been an important economic crop in the country. In the early 1960s, Nigeria was the world leading producer and exporter of palm oil. During this period, palm oil production in the country accounted for 43% (largely from the grove) of the world production, nowadays it only accounts for 7% of total global output. Domestic annual production of palm oil stands at 785,000 metric tons from about 2.5million hectares of wild grove, small holdings and large estate plantings. However, the current annual demand is in excess of one (1) million metric tonnes of palm oil.
In realization of the importance of the oil palm sub sector to national development and the obvious need for an oil palm farm in the community to produce wholesome palm oil and palm kernel products, as well as, serving as platform for teaching of hands on experience to agricultural students, with a campus size of 264.8ha and in line with its mission to constantly restructure the College to make it provide significant service to the community, the College embarked on massive development of agriculture with the establishment of its first oil palm farm in 1998. Subsequent efforts in this regard were made in 2001 and repeated three years later. Having identified this project as an area of strength in the college for teaching and learning, the management has since committed substantial amount of money towards expanding the venture.
Entrepreneurial Agri-Business Centre
The Entrepreneurial Agri-Business Centre spearheads efforts to help equip young people to transform the agricultural sector, reduce unemployment, enhance economic growth and alleviate poverty. It will also improve food security situation and livelihood standards especially among the rural families in the communities in Ondo State and surrounding states and in particular women. The project will support the development of entrepreneurial activities that would enhance income and livelihood standards of stakeholders along the commodity value chain.
Specifically the project seeks to achieve the following objectives
- To establish an entrepreneurial center where training in agri-business will be conducted.
- To transform the agricultural value chain and boost the attractiveness of the agricultural sector to youth entrepreneurs in urban and rural communities.
- To create greater employment opportunities in the region for youth to become self employed.
The College at Present has a piggery unit located at its Teaching and Research Farm. The production capacity of the piggery and services to the community in terms of vocational training to students and local farmers in the community is quite challenging in terms of meeting with demand.
The pig farm had been of immense benefit to the College community and her immediate host community. Live pigs are sold from time to time to farmers willing to take up piggery business. This is because improved breeds that can be used as foundation stock are readily available.
Also, pigs are slaughtered and sold to staff and students as pork at a comparatively reduced price thereby increasing the protein level in their diet.
Furthermore, the knowledge acquired by our students in pig production cannot be quantified in monetary terms. Some of our out gone students had taken vocation in pig business while some are managing livestock production in some established institutions and farms. This had further changed the mindset of our students that opportunity exists for them to take vocation in this enterprise rather than relying solely on teaching job and employment from government which is not readily available.
The Rabbit Farm
To fulfill the food demand for growing population, the College also has a rabbit farm located at its Teaching and Research Farm. This is a great opportunity for rabbit farming because commercial production can be a great source of income and employment. We encourage our students and the host communities to engage in rabbit meat production through training and workshops. Rabbits require small areas for living and less food for surviving. Rabbit meat contains high ratio of protein, energy, calcium and vitamin than any other types of animal meat. Raising rabbit can be a great income source to the unemployed educated people and landless farmers.