Don Advocates Indigenous Knowledge for Value Addition - THE BUSINESS PACKAGE


Thursday, February 8, 2024

Don Advocates Indigenous Knowledge for Value Addition

_… Warns Against Bleaching_ 

_By Olasunkanmi Olajide & Joy Adeyiga_
The 85th Inaugural Lecturer of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Prof. Elizabeth Oluwalana, a distinguished expert in Agricultural and Resources Economics, has strongly cautioned against the harmful practices of skin bleaching.

Instead, she urged the utilisation of natural products to prevent skin diseases and sunburn, particularly among youths.

Delivering the Lecture titled "Value-Addition to Agricultural And Forest Resources: Means For Herbal Therapy And Entrepreneurial Skills Development" at the Oluwafemi Balogun Ceremonial Building on February 7, 2024, Prof. Oluwalana underscored the importance of indigenous knowledge in enhancing agricultural and forest resources for the production of herbal products.

Emphasising the significance of value addition to indigenous knowledge and products, Prof. Oluwalana advocated for economic sustainability and improved healthy lifestyles. 

She discouraged the use of foreign cosmetics for skin enhancement, advocating instead for the adoption of natural products which she deemed superior to foreign cosmetics, particularly those used for bleaching.

Furthermore, Prof. Oluwalana recommended measures to lower the cost of secondary production and raise export earnings, thus contributing to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

She restated the importance of utilising enhanced technologies to add value to agricultural produce, particularly during bumper harvest seasons.

The Inaugural Lecturer highlighted the role of women in ‘agri-preneurship’, urging their involvement to generate additional income and improve livelihoods. 

She proposed the formation of clusters and cooperative groups to assist members in funding, empowerment, and welfare packages.

Prof. Oluwalana, therefore, called for support from various stakeholders, including academics, corporate bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and individual citizens, to promote the use of traditional or indigenous knowledge, especially in the manufacturing of herbal soap and medicinal plants.

Addressing the issue of high labour costs incurred by entrepreneurs in value-added processing, Prof. Oluwalana appealed for government intervention and incentives, such as subsidies for equipment and packaging.

The University’s 85th Inaugural Lecturer, however, urged farmers to explore organic value-chain production by utilising plant residues as compost manure for the generation of biogas. 

Earlier in the Introductory Remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Babatunde Kehinde had described Prof. Oluwalana as a dedicated academic, adding that it was evidenced by her over 48 publications in high-impact and reputable journals.N

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