A professor of crop production at the Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University in Makurdi, (JOSTUM), Prof. Ngozi Odiaka, has advocated the establishment of a crop museum that would help to curtail orphan crops from going into extinction.

Mrs Odiaka, made the recommendation in an inaugural lecture, entitled, “Rhythms of Orphan Crops: The Neglected Side of Food Security in Sustainable Development in Nigeria”, held at the college hall in Makurdi.

She stated that the establishment of a two-hectare plot size Crop Museum for crops going extinct (orphan and stable crops alike) in the College of Agronomy will help secure for the most important nationally acceptable crops.

“It will be a Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation, Agro ecology Intensification, Field experiments and Demonstrations with a JOSTUM Agric shop show.

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Prof. Odiaka also noted that the crop museum will be an effective tool for teaching and extension service on modern farming technologies to students, community farmers and Benue farmers at large.

“It will add value to our academic activities and facilitates accreditation.

“FUAM Crop Museum will create a positive impact in the university and the community by encouraging large number of students and farmers to grow such grains and vegetables as well as other crops by using modern methods.”

She added that orphan fruits, spice and vegetable farming remain one of the most lucrative agricultural businesses in the farming industry and one of the most empowering business anybody willing to go into farming can venture into and succeed.

Odiaka itemised the orphan crops to cover the entire spectrum of food and industrial uses – cereals, fruits and nuts, vegetable and pulse crops, root and tubers, oil seeds, starch and sugar, fiber, latex and dyes, adding that they are mostly cultivated or collected from the wild across all regions from the world but never referred to as major crops.