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IMPORTANCE OF OIL PALM BUNCH ASH AS ALTERNATIVE TO COMMERCIAL FERTILIZERS HIGHLIGHTED AT 12TH INAUGURAL LECTURE
The importance of oil palm bunch ash as alternative to commercial fertilizers was highlighted at the 12th inaugural lecture of IAUE. Speaking on the topic "Agony of Choice: Balancing Growth & Survival by Water Stressed Plants to Secure the next generation, the inaugural lecturer Prof. Jane Akaja Onwugbuta Enyi advised farmers to focus on the locally available materials capable of serving as fertilizers given that the commercial fertilizers are very expensive and within the reach of privileged few. Attention, she emphasized must therefore shift from the expensive commercial fertilizers to the readily available oil palm bunch ash which is one local residue that is available in raw decomposed or bunch ash form, cheap, convenient and easy to apply. It is also hygroscopic, extremely basic and contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and known to increase the number of both symbiotic and non symbiotic bacterial which add more nutrients to the soil, thereby increasing plant yield. The plant Professor called for awareness of the benefits of applying agricultural and agro industrial residues on crop production to be created and recommended palm bunch ash as an alternative to commercial fertilizers. Born on September 9, 1958 in Akwukabi in Etche LGA, Prof. Jane Akaja Onwugbuta Enyi holds a B.Sc in Botany,(Uniport), Postgraduate Diploma in Education (RSU), M.Sc in Plant Physiology (Uniport), and Ph.D in Botany (Uniport). She joined IAUE in October 1982 as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Biology after her National Youth Service and rose through the ranks to Senior Lecturer in 2001,Associate Professor in 2008 and Professor of Plant Physiology in 2012. She has served in various positions in the university namely as Head of Biology Department, Dean of Faculty of Natural & Applied Science, Governing Council Member representing Senate, and currently ICT Director. She has received awards and honours from different bodies, is a member of several professional bodies like Institute of Biology, United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland, American Eurasian Network of Scientific Information etc. She has over 60 national and international publications to her credit. She has also attended several national and international academic conferences within and outside the country. She is married to Barr. G.M.Enyi and the marriage is blessed with two children.