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Complete Text of Adebayọ Pedro's speech at the launch of ODUDUWA MAGAZINE in Yabatech

Here is the complete he text of speech given by Adebayọ Shu'aib Pedro Alabi on Wednesday, 7th November, 2018, for the lunching of Oduduwa Magazine in Yabatech at Oduduwa Awards.


The Rector, Yaba College of Technology,
The Governing Council,
The Deans of the schools,
The heads of the departments,
The staff,
And greatest Nigerian students,

There is nothing I will say of agriculture on this rostrum that won't be a repetition of what the best of researchers and experts have said. However, I shouldn't refrain from daring to make the needful repetitions of the importance of a fabric of life whose science and practices are, in ineffable measures, benefiting and affecting all spheres and facets of our lives. So, please, bear with me!

It's not herculean to understand or agree that there are enormous roles, importance and values  of agriculture whose practices impact human lives daily. But as a human sign, we ungratefully underemphasize the generic position of agriculture in our lives and underestimate its potentials as they undoubtedly serve our intrinsic causes.

Without apology, and with robust emphasis, I put large stock on agriculture, and define it as a root of human evolution, its substrate, means of subsistence and cause to its civilization.

Over the inception of our creation, we've not for a split second existed without the providence of agriculture. Villages, towns and metropolitan cities all came into existence as a result of agriculture. And how this fact buttresses and suffices as a self evidence is not a puzzle. The history of agriculture dates back millions of years; but in most literatures, it's believed that people gathered wild grains at least 105,000 years ago and began to plant them around 11,500 years ago before they became domesticated. Goats, sheep, and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Crops originated from at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has in the past century come to dominate agricultural output.

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological developments have sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage through contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, deforestation, antibiotic resistance, and growth hormones in industrially produced meat. Genetically modified organisms are widely used, although they are banned in several countries.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials such as rubber, hide and skin. Classes of foods include cereals (grains), vegetables, fruits, oils, meat, milk, fungi and eggs. Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased significantly over the past several centuries. All these I've mentioned compliment the evidence of agriculture being a substrate to human lives, development and sociocultural growth.
No civil society can live without agriculture. More than 65% of industries and business activities in any civil society are supported by agriculture at primary and secondary levels. It is the largest provider of employment. So, the negative growth of GDP, poverty, unemployment, vices or social burden are all dues paid for lack of education among people of a state or society and lack of recourse to agriculture which provides contribution to national income, supply of food and fodder. Agriculture indulges us in international trade and diplomatic relationships, it provides marketable surplus, resources as raw materials, creates revenue in transport services, contributes to foreign exchange resources, creates vast employment opportunities, sources for government income and stands as a basis of economic development.

Therefore, if agriculture is given more priority in a society, it will be well developed and the standard of living of its members is also found well developed.

However, it's important we disabuse the long age impression that agriculture is a second-to-no job.
At this age, it's pitiable that when agriculture is mentioned, we are quick to arrogate it to a backbreaking job. We even note it as an endeavour of peasantry.
Such is the reduction that, in most youths' preferences, it's next to unemployment. Not even the last fiddle to our true craving.
However, we are wrong!

Africa has the world’s youngest population and 65 percent of the world's uncultivated arable land, I see this as a rare privilege that puts us on a profitable edge over others continents. So, why the unemployment? Why not agriculture?

If China could earn 6.6 billion dollars in global export of fish; Indonesia, 10.4 billion dollars in global export of palm oil; Thailand, 6 billion dollars from rice and the US, 16.5 billion dollars in global export of soybeans.
Then why is Nigeria off the chart, when we, arguably, have one of the best soil profiles of the world?

Have we forgotten how our fores pride themselves in the the well told stories of the North's groundnut pyramid?
Do we still remember how great men like chief Obafemi Awolowo and their governments built the first African skyscraper with cocoa proceeds? Don't we wish to rejuvenate the abundance in which the Sapele timbers production help soared our export proceeds? And how Argungu fishing festival allured tourists?
Do we still remember the Delta rubber plantation which once placed us amongst large rubber exporters in the world?
Even in our beginning when the colonialists were finding it difficult to put up with the finances of the Northern Protectorate, they had no other viable option than to resort to forge its merger with the wealthier southern protectorate which was economically buoyant in its agricultural practices. So therefore, agriculture has, evidently, played a very pivotal role in whatever that may be said to have begun Nigeria and its sociocultural existence and development.

Dear audience, I reiterate it that we can thrive socio-economically and develop unrestrictedly if we put more stock on agricultural practices.
Lack of zeal to intensify effort of agricultural practices is lagging us behind amongst our peers. And our social culturally values is depleting grossly. To stop these, we need an aggressive recourse be paid to agriculture. And I direct this most especially to the youths like me.
If agriculture could solely subsist the world and play vital roles in our sociocultural development for thousands of year before the technologies, then, making it an ace priority could only grow us stronger, bolstered and economically infallible. So dear friends, we are strong now, let's implore our youthfulness, smart ways, knowledge and insights to re-propagate the root whence the human growth and civilisation began. Let's start farming.

However, I do not promise you will experience an unruffled growth in farming, for growth, in its generic existences, does not cosset any man, nor his comforts and caprices but rather goads you towards immeasurable odds, but assuredly, you shall break even, bloom and triumph in your perseverance.

Lastly, I thank you all giving me the privilege to remind us all of the beginning of our prospect (agriculture).

Please, forgive me if I've bored you in anyway or fallen short of your expectation.

Thank you for your time!

God bless us all!

Adebayo Shu’aib pedro Alabi
Wednesday, 7th November, 2018.

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