A group of 30 delegates representing Cross River State, Nigeria, visited Fort Valley State University on June 20 to learn the latest agriculture practices.
James Hill, FVSU's 1890 land-grant liaison for the region's Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE) Program, coordinated the visit. SARE is a U.S. Department of Agriculture funded program that offers grants and education opportunities to students, farmers, ranchers, researchers and educators.
During the visit, delegates listened to a presentation about SARE, asked questions in an open format session and toured FVSU's Meat Technology Center and the FVSU Dairy Goat Center.
Larry Odey, the speaker for Nigeria's Cross River State legislature, said he is impressed with FVSU's agriculture facilities. The leader explained that one of the challenges in the Cross River State is developing agriculture products at a modern, commercial level where they can export and generate revenue.
Odey said Cross River is well endowed with natural resources such as cocoa and rice, but crude oil is the country's main source. "In the event of oil drying up tomorrow, what do we fall back on?" Odey asked. For this reason, the speaker stated that the area is thinking about various alternative sources for revenue and agriculture.
Upon his return to Cross River, Odey said that he will share what he has learned with government officials and then see what can be applied for improvement.
Hill said that he believes a serious collaboration between delegates in Cross River and FVSU will take place in the future.
"I see international student enrollment opportunities, shadowing and possible consulting in their country," Hill said.
FVSU is the first stop on an eight-day U.S. tour for the delegates. For more information about FVSU's SARE Program, contact James Hill at (478) 825- 6263 or firstname.lastname@example.org.