An agricultural expert, Dr. Francis Olaniji Adegunloye, has made a case for utilization of technology for the packaging of agricultural products, in order to enhance their preservation and improve their aesthetic outlook.
Adegunloye, an expert in the field of Agricultural Engineering and currently a Lecturer in the School of Vocational and Technical Education, Adeyemi College of Education (ACE) Ondo, gave the advice while delivering the institution’s first inaugural lecture held on MondayFebruary 15, 2016 at the Olusegun Obasanjo Auditorium in the College.
Speaking on a topic entitled: “ Utilization of Packaging Technology in Agriculture “, the agricultural expert while quoting Igbeka, described agriculture as an industry and a profession that entails the production of cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fibre crops and poultry as well as the processing in varying degrees of many farm products and their marketing. He described Agricultural Engineering as the heartbeat of agriculture and stated that its contributions to agricultural production and its advancement cannot be over-emphasized since its application is needed in all agricultural activities including rural and allied ones for the overall purpose of improving efficiency and increased agricultural productivity in large quantities.
Harping on the use of packaging technology in agriculture, the ACE Lecturer described it as the embodiment of all specialized areas of Agricultural Engineering. He described packaging simply as the manner in which a product is promoted and spoke on its historical background, functions, usefulness, benefits as well as materials that could serve its purpose. The Agricultural expert listed some of the materials that could be used for packaging in Agriculture to include paper fibre board, wooden boxes, earthenware, plastics and glass jar. Others include steel, aluminum, metal cans/ containers, ceramics, jute bags, polyethylene film, polythene impregnated jute bags as well as poly pouches, cloth bags, cellophane and stretch film.
Adegunloye also spoke on packaging production techniques and processes, conglomerate of agricultural products and packaging samples in agriculture.
While stressing the need for people to make judicious use of resources provided in their vicinity by God to meet their needs, the Agricultural expert cited the use of termite mound, which he said is available I n large quantities on streets, roads and farms across Nigeria and could be used for the construction of Silo, where grains could be stored and preserved in large quantities.
As a way of maximizing opportunities in agricultural packaging in order to ameliorate the sufferings of peasant farmers, the ACE lecturer enjoined Engineers to engage in research activities. He also stressed the need for peasant farmers in Nigeria to embrace packaging
technology while equally advocating the utilization of computer aided engineering design in improving packaging. The Agricultural expert also called on government at all levels in the
country to empower youths financially to enable them harness opportunities available in agricultural packaging and sought for provision of appropriate technology on farms in rural areas, so as to create enabling environment for innovation and efficient agricultural
packaging technology to be embracedby its dwellers.
In addition, he also advocated for the involvement of agricultural engineers in the production and utilization of technology infrastructure on farms and exploration of packaging technology in areas such as branding and labeling by business entrepreneurs.
Earlier in his address, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Monday Joshua, who was the guest of honour on the occasion, commended the Management of ACE for organizing the ceremony stating that the development has placed the
institution among other notable Colleges of Education in the country that had complied with the directive from NCCE on the organization of inaugural lecture in their institutions. He described inaugural lecture as one of the culture which characterized academic community and congratulated the institution’s management and other members of the College community for witnessing the occasion.
Also in his address, the Provost of the College, Prof. Olukoya Ogen, described the occasion as historical adding that the event which is aimed at celebrating excellence among scholars, would go a long way in enhancing excellence and placing the College among list of notable
institutions in Nigeria. He congratulated the inaugural lecture presenter, Dr. Francis Olaniji Adegunloye and urged other lecturers to emulate him.
The ceremony which had eminent personalities including the Registrar of the College, Mr. Eniola Aderinboye; Bursar, Mr. Ganiyu Abdul; Acting Librarian, Mr. Akinade Awoyemi in attendance was also witnessed by traditional rulers, members of academic community, staff and students to mention but few.
The highpoint of the ceremony was the presentation of plaque and Certificate to Dr. Francis Olaniji Adegunloye by the Executive Secretary of NCCE, Prof. Monday Joshua.