By Dayo Johnson, Akure
A university don, Prof. Babatunde Ajayi, says wastes generated from the agricultural sector can serve as raw materials capable of sustaining wealth creation. The professor of wood products and biomaterials technology at the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA, stated this while delivering his Inaugural Lecture Series 77 in the institution.
Ajayi declared that the use of raw materials derived from agricultural sector for value added products manufacturing will stimulate and increase the industrial and economic development of the nation and the world at large.The lecture was entitled, “Adding value to biofiber waste: A lesson from creation”. According to him, the use of agricultural residues would increase farmers income and alleviate poverty, reduce pressure on forest resources biodiversities, create job opportunities and increase raw materials supplies for construction industries.
He therefore advocated for the conversion of wood and agricultural wastes into a variety of valuable products in commercial quantities. The university don explained that wastes have been converted to a variety of value added products using bonding agent substitutes such as organic and inorganic binders, virgin and re-cycled plastic, car battery case and pozzolan.
Ajayi recommended that research should be put in place to investigate the suitability of valueless agricultural by- products for panel product manufacture to meet global demands for affordable core and low cost housing.
He equally said that available lesser known species should be upgraded by treating them with locally natural preservatives to prevent wood degration in service and to meet wood demand in construction industry. Ajayi called for aggressive and massive establishment of bamboo plantation along the river course to mitigate environmental challenges.