Food scarcity: Don advocates intensive study in mycology  

A university lecturer, Professor  Mohammed Nasirudeen Suleiman, has called  for global intensive study in Mycology (Fungi) in all secondary schools as part of measures to curb global food deprivation.

He lamented that the destructive effects of fungi on the nation’s crops have created a great effect on the agricultural sector.

Professor Nasirudeen Suleiman, who is a lecturer with the Department of Botany Federal University Lokoja, made the call on Thursday while delivering his Inaugural Lecture titled: “Pathogenic Fungi and Food Deprivation: The Challenges of Plants Pathologists,” held on Thursday at  Adankolo campus, Lokoja of the institution.

According to him “Fungi, until recently, are highly under-reported, marginalized and totally ignored in secondary schools to the extent that only plants and animals are being studied, leaving a large number of students ignorant of the whole Fungi kingdom.

“In fungal/pathology science, we see God’s touch, wisdom, wonders and Grace, therefore, I am making a case for a global intensive study of mycology in all secondary schools because a secret of our living may be there….”

The university don who warned against the effects of chemicals being applied by farmers to checkmate pest, insects and plant diseases, said that the  farmers have limited resources and lack the technical expertise required to handle imported fungicides and pesticides which have the disadvantage of being denatured under high tropical temperature.

He stated that historical success recorded in the use of Azadirachtin, Nimbin Nbidol and Secomeliacin, Nicotine from tobacco and Pyrethin from Chrysanthemum flowers as bio-pesticides and fungicides four years ago in the university’s (FUL) Biological Science Laboratory  have spurred Scientists to alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids and other second compounds.

“About 400,000 species of tropical flowering plants have medical properties that can be transformed to curb diseases on crops and ultimately prevent food deprivation”

The inaugural lecturer added, ” there’s no plant that is useless, it’s usage can be for food, medicine or shelter, just as it’s estimated that there are about 500,000 species of plants on Earth with about 10 per cent being used as food by man and animals.”

Nasirudeen-Suleiman, thanked the FUL’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Olayemi Akinwumi and management team for give him the privilege to present the inaugural lecture.