The Department of Crop Protection, Faculty of Agricultural/Institute for Agricultural Research of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, celebrated its 50 year anniversary on the 11 October 2018.
The Crop Protection Department (CPD) which carries out teaching, research and outreach activities came into being in 1968. Though not the oldest, it is the most versatile Department in the faculty of Agriculture with many famous names in the field of Crop Protection in Nigeria today associated with the department either as Alumni, former/serving staff or collaborating scientists. It is the first Crop Protection Department by nomenclature and still the best in the whole of Nigeria for its quality research, teaching and outreach activities.
It was first headed by Prof. Margaret A. Keay and started with only 2 sections namely; Entomology and Plant Pathology.
It is commendable that the Department has made giant strides in the last 50 years expanding from the initial 2 units into 6 fully blown units namely; Bacteriology, Entomology, Mycopathology, Nematology, Virology and very recently Toxicology. The current staff strength is 25 teaching (with diverse areas of expertise) and 60 technical and administrative staff. Since inceptionCrop Protection Department (CPD) has been offering pest and diagnostic service, to farmers, researchers and agro-allied companies involving identification of plants pests and diseases and advisory services on their management.
The CPD has been offering Phytosanitary certificates recognized worldwide for over 30 years and has also been conducting tests on the efficacy of new insecticides and fungicides marketed by some Agro-Chemical in Nigeria. On the 20th of January, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh visited the department. It was a historic visit by a serving minister of agriculture.
The celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the department was marked by several activities including; presentation of awards to Longest Serving Members of Staff and Distinguished Service awards to past Chief Technologists and past Heads of CPD. There was also the commissioning/unveiling of portrait pointillism by the VC of ABU and a tour of the department and other facilities of the university. The celebration ended with a dinner later in the evening.
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