FOOD SECURITY RESEARCH GROUP

Name of Research Group
FOOD SECURITY RESEARCH GROUP
Collaborating Departments
AGRICULTURAL AND BIORESOURCES ENGINEERING
AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
ANIMAL SCIENCE
CROP  SCIENCE
PLANT SCIENCE AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
SOIL SCIENCE
FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Introduction
Food security may have different meanings for different people. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (1996) and Raj (2013), food security “exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Household food security exists when all members, at all times, have access to enough food for an active, healthy life (USDA, 2008). The International Conference on Nutrition (ICN), held in Rome in 1992, defined food security as “access by all people at all times to the food needed for a healthy life”. Food insecurity, on the other hand, is a situation of  imited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or inability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways (Gary et al., 2000). Food security incorporates a measure of resilience to future disruption or unavailability of critical food supply due to various risk factors including drought, shipping disruptions, fuel shortages, economic instability, and wars. An estimated 842 million people suffered from chronic hunger from 2011 to 2013 (FAO, WFP, IFAD, 2013). The FAO identified availability, access, utilization, and stability as the main pillars of food security (FAO, 2009). Essentially, in order to achieve food security a country must achieve three basic aims. It must ensure adequacy of food supplies in terms of quantity, quality and variety of food; optimize stability in the flow of supplies; and secure sustainable access to available supplies by all who need food.
Despite its surplus arable land resources, Nigeria has remained a net importer of food. The country has consistently been involved in low input agriculture with poor and unharnessed research base. Commercial farms are few and they hardly break even. Consequently, the country has relied , largely, on small farm holdings over the years.  These class of farmers use crude implements; They have no access to credit and modern production and preservation technologies. These have restricted the country’s ability to withstand pressures arising from  food shortage. Recently, the government of Nigeria is begining to show some concern towards food availability by introducing different programmes to guarantee the nation’s food security for the coming years (CN, 2010). One of the best ways to address food security challenges is through the development and improvement of indigenous technologies for crops and animal production, processing and storage. Hence this research group has the intension to address efficient crop and animal production and processing techniques; extension of these techniques to the target population and mechanization as  tools for food security in Nigeria.
Thematic Areas
The  Research Group has the following  thematic areas:
1   Engineering/Mechanization
2   Crop Improvement and Production of New crop Varieties
3   Animal Improvement and Production of New animal Breeds
4   Soil Science and tillage studies
5    Crop and Animal Production Techniques
6    Agricultural Extension
7    Agric Economics and Farm Management
8     Processing and Preservation of Agricultural produce
9     Waste Management and Composting for Crop Production
10    Irrigation and Dry Season Farming
11    Renewable Energy Applications to Agriculture
Research Focus of the Group
The focus of this group is to identify and harness the agricultural potentials of Nigeria, through Multi-Disciplinary Research, with a view to contributing to the current Agricultural Transformation Agenda and ensuring food security in Nigeria..
Objective
The main objective of the Research group is to galvanize active reseachers  with passion for food production and utilization; foster Team work and engage in multi-disciplinary research activities aimed at ensuring food security in Nigeria.
Some Proposed Research Topics
Engineering/Mechanization
 Development of mechanized conveying system for loading and unloading water melon and yam tubers in Nigerian farms/markets
 Nation-wide survey and sensitization on present status of post harvest losses, causes and practical remedies with focus on specific crops
 Electricity generation through biomass gasification
 Generation of energy through biomass engineering
 Development of soil bin test facility for soil-machine interaction studies
 Development of solar powered automatic irrigation system
 Waste management and odour control in agricultural production facilities
 Development of dryers for agricultural products
Crop Improvement Sub-group
• Application of modern biotechnology in the development of novel crop varieties for the emerging climate
• Identification of QTLs for drought resistance in important arable crops
• Utilization of wild relatives to improve the tolerance level of crops currently under domestication
• Introduction and adaptation of alien varieties to the Nigeria condition
• Integrated  Crop Improvement strategies involving the conventional breeding and selection and Marker Assisted breeding.
Animal Improvement Sub-group
• Use of modern biotechnology to improve local animal breeds
• Introduction and utilization of Foreign breeds to improve the local breeds
• Breeding for resistance to tropical diseases of farm animals
Crop Production Techniques
• Research will focus on developing solutions to challenges posed by climate change to crop production in Nigeria
• Use and Benefits of different agronomic techniques to checkmate climate change
• Modelling and development of novel agronomic provedures.
Animal Production Techniques
• Animal nutrition
• Ecological and Environmental Requirements for optimal performance
• Pest and Disease Control
Soil Science and Tillage studies
• Tillage and Minimum Tillage
• Soil mapping and Classification
• Mineral nutrition
• Soil Fauna and Flora
Agricultural Extension
• Agricultural Technology Transfer.
• Grassroot Demonstration of New Technologies for Crop and Animal Production
Agric Economics and Farm Management
• Financing Agricultural Enterprises
• Agricultural Production Efficiency
Processing and Preservation of Agricultural produce
• Processing of Crop and Animal Products
• Value Chain
Waste Management and Composting for Crop Production
• Garbage treatment and compost Production
• Energy Generation from Municipal waste
Irrigation and Dry Season Farming
Developing a Model for All-year round farming
Renewable Energy Applications to Agriculture
• Reduction of Greenhouse gas emissions
Composition of the Research Group
Research Group Cordinator    –  Professor Michael I. Uguru

Engineering
 Engr. Prof. E. U. Odigboh (Agricultural & Bioresources Engineering)
 Engr. Prof. J. C. Agunwamba (Civil Engineering)
 Engr. Dr. Ozoemena Ani (Agricultural & Bioresources Engineering)
 Engr. B. B. Uzoejinwa  (Agricultural & Bioresources Engineering)
 Engr. S. N. Ugwu      (Agricultural & Bioresources Engineering)
 Engr. F. U. Asoiro (Agricultural & Bioresources Engineering)
 Engr. Dr. J. N. Nwakaire (Agricultural & Bioresources Engineering)

Agriculture
 Prof M. I. Uguru (Crop Science)
 Prof. Mrs. Ani (Food Science and Technology)
 Prof.  Ezekwe (Animal Science)
 Dr. Obalum  (Soil Science)
 Dr. P. E. Ogbonna (Crop Science)
 Mr. Okechukwu (Crop Science)
 Dr. Mrs. Asadu (Agric Ext)
 Mrs. Nkiru Uberu (Animal Breeding)
 Mrs. Eunice. Akuru (Animal Science)
 Mr. P. K. Adeosun (Agric Economics)
Biological Sciences
 Dr. Mrs .N. E. Abu (Plant Science and Biotechnology)
References
1. CN (2010). Nigeria’s Food Security. Corporate Nigeria, The business, Trade & Investment Guide 2010/2011.
2. Raj Patel (2013). Food sovereignty’ is next big idea. Financial Times.
3. Food and Agriculture Organization (1996). Rome Declaration on Food Security and World Food Summit Plan of Action.
4. USDA (2008). Food Security in the United States: Measuring Household Food Security.
5. Gary Bickel; Mark Nord; Cristofer Price; William Hamilton; John Cook (2000). Guide to Measuring Household Food Security.
6. FAO, WFP, IFAD (2013). The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013. The multiple dimensions of food security.
7. FAO (2009). Declaration of the World Food Summit on Food Security. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.