Aligning with Edo State Governor’s charge to institutions in the state to become innovative in service delivery, Rector of Edo State Polytechnic, Usen, Prof. Abiodun Falodun, has said that the school has commenced oil palm milling and also set modalities for the development of a palm plantation to promote enterprise and research.
Speaking to journalists on the development at the milling facility in the school premises, in Usen, Ovia South West Local Government Area of the state, Prof. Falodun said the polytechnic wants to revolutionise the idea of tertiary institutions as solution centres.
According to him, “With the support from Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), we have set up the oil milling plant in the school. We intend to mop up the oil palm harvest from smallholder farmers in the community and mill them here to produce palm oil and other by-products.”
He noted that the school has designed a roadmap to developing a plantation that would serve as source of raw material for the facility, noting that the seedlings are going to be sourced from the Nigeria Institute of Oil Palm Research (NIFOR).
“I am quite delighted that we have set up this facility. We are going to commence the development of a palm plantation within the school which will service the oil milling plant. But at the moment, we intend to mop up what we can from smallholders in the community and environs.
“Our grand plan is to have more than one processing centers within the school that will be producing finished goods from the different crops grown in the community. Aside the oil palm, we also intend to build one for yam and banana processing. The students will play active roles in the development of the plantation as it would form part of their entrepreneurial studies.
“The processing centres will not only serve as enterprises, but the school will also use them as research stations, to develop new products and allied products from the different crops that we grow in Usen community,” he added.
Some of the departments that will be involved in the research activities, according to him, are those in the School of Engineering, as well as Food Science and Technology, among others.