Revd Professor A.C. Odebode of
the department of Botany, University of Ibadan belongs to the old stock of the academia
with the intention of living an impactful life. He hails from the agrarian
community, Awe via Oyo town in Oyo State and either by twist of fate or fortune;
he has lived his live around plants and crops. He is on the global map of
impactful people as a clergy, a University lecturer and within his sphere of
I have no authoritative fact but
I have the moral right to judge from my relationship with him spanning twenty
years that Odebode’s influence would have started through his academic sojourn
at different schools from 1963 till 1990. Some of the schools he attended are
Awe High School; Baptist Academy, Lagos; Catholic University of America; Howard
University and the University of Ibadan where he was awarded his Ph.d in Botany.
The maxim of Professor A.C
Odebode for children is akin to the title of the book by S. Truett Cathy,
It is better to Build Boys Than to Mend
Men. He hunted for boys and drew them closer not with money but by advising
them towards their academic from their secondary school till they graduate which
is the minimum; he then drives one towards postgraduate studies. I am proud to
say that I am one of the beneficiaries of this gesture.
In the same vein, I will want to
add that Professor Odebode by all standards is a lecturer who wants his
students to excel. I have been following the progress of one of his
postgraduate students who would be completing his Ph.D soon. He has a large
heart for anyone who is willing open his hands and he would assist the person
to soar within and above his confines. This shows that his only joy is to see
As a clergy, I knew of his
exploits when he went to the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Sabbatical.
He found out that the Baptist denomination is not visible in the country. He
volunteered to be a missionary and he returned to Nigeria with a student for
the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary to get trained and continue to water
the seed he planted. Asides other role in his local assembly church, he was
once the chaplain of the Airforce Comprehensive School, Iyana-Offa, Ibadan after
Ajegunle Baptist Church, Agbowo under the leadership of Revd Dr. Emmanuel
Oyekan built a chapel there.
Professor A.C. Odebode has
further demonstrated his selflessness through his topic of preference for his
inaugural lecture taking place today (30th June 2016) at the
University of Ibadan with the title, ‘Integrated Plant Disease Management: A
panacea for food insecurity’. There is a drive in him to ensure that man’s
existence is not hampered by food insecurity. This multidisciplinary title which
cut across Botany, Agriculture, Human Nutrition, Geography, Soil Science
amongst others is a reflection of his heart and the call to the academia to generate
solutions that will further improve the quality of life.
According to the United Nations, Food
Agriculture is the single largest employer in
the world, providing livelihoods for 40 per cent of today’s global population.
It is the largest source of income and jobs for poor rural households.
500 million small farms worldwide, most still
rainfed, provide up to 80 per cent of food consumed in a large part of the
developing world. Investing in smallholder women and men is an important way to
increase food security and nutrition for the poorest, as well as food production
for local and global markets.
Since the 1900s, some 75 per cent of crop
diversity has been lost from farmers’ fields. Better use of agricultural
biodiversity can contribute to more nutritious diets, enhanced livelihoods for
farming communities and more resilient and sustainable farming systems.
If women farmers had the same access to
resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to
1.4 billion people have no access to electricity
worldwide – most of whom live in rural areas of the developing world. Energy
poverty in many regions is a fundamental barrier to reducing hunger and
ensuring that the world can produce enough food to meet future demand.
pursuit of Professor A.C. Odebode has just open up a new clime of research. As
an expert in different areas such as Mycorrhizal, Plant Genetics and Pathogen
Interaction; Post Harvest Pathology; Biocontrol through Antagonistic
Microorganism; Use of Botanical/ Biofungicide; Virology and General Plant
pathology and Mycology. All these fields have been consolidated into today’s
expository inaugural lecture. I look forward to the Odebode theories, Odebode-ism;
Odebode-logy and Odebode-cide that will be referred to be scholars globally.
Labels: Botany, Dar es Salaam, food insecurity, Integrated Plant Disease Mgt, Olutayo Irantiola, Peo Davies, Revd Oyewole Oyekan, Revd Prof A Christopher Odebode, Tanzania, University, University of Ibadan