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April 24, 2024

Don proffers solution to food deprivation

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Prof. Mohammed Nasirudeen-Suleiman


By Thompson Yamput

Prof. Mohammed Nasirudeen-Suleiman of the Department of Botany, Federal University Lokoja, has called for global intensive study in Mycology (Fungi) in all secondary schools as part of measures to check food deprivation.

He made the call while delivering an inaugural lecture entitled: “Pathogenic Fungi and Food Deprivation: The Challenges of Plants Pathologists,’’ held at the Federal University of Lokoja (FUL) Auditorium, Adankolo Campus, Lokoja.

He noted that the destructive effects of fungi on the nation’s crops ranging from yams, potato, beans, maize, cocoa and groundnuts, among others, are enormous.

“Fungi, until recently, are highly under reported, marginalised and totally ignored in secondary schools to the extent that only plants and animals are being studied leaving a large number of students ignorant of a whole fungi kingdom.

“I am making a case for a global intensive study of mycology in all secondary schools because a secret of our living may be there,’’ he said.

While warning on effects of chemicals being applied by farmers to checkmate pest, insects and plant diseases, he regretted that they (farmers) had limited resources and lack the technical expertise required to handle imported fungicides and pesticides.

“There’s no plant that is useless, its usage can be for food, medicine or shelter, just as it’s estimated that there are more than 500,000 species of plants on earth with more than 10 per cent being used as food by man and animals,’’ he observed.

He noted that a major factor to food deprivation “is disease inflicted on plants and its products by pathogenic fungi in transit and in storage, which could lead to hunger, starvation, nutritional deficiencies and malnutrition with broad impacts on cognitive functioning.

According to him, one major challenge being faced by plant pathologists is the inappropriate plant disease control measure, in-vitro or outside the host (takes place in the laboratory) and the in vivo or on the host (takes place on the field).

Nasirudeen-Suleiman thanked Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi, the Vice-Chancellor of the university and the management team for giving him the privilege to deliver the lecture.

He also appealed for funds to equip the university’s laboratory to begin the manufacturing of drugs from the plants.(NAN)(www.nanews.ng)


Edited by Deborah Coker/Kayode Olaitan

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