Selected Profile from Directory

Photo of Sunday Ekele Uhiene

Sunday Ekele Uhiene

Department of Planning, Ministry of Agriculture of Nigeria

Nigeria

What most impressed the professional colleagues who nominated this role model?

Sunday Ekele Uhiene has made significant contributions to Nigeria’s CAADP Process and the preparation of the National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP) of Nigeria.  As Coordinator of the CAADP Focal Point in Nigeria, he played a key role in stakeholder mobilization, organizing brainstorming sessions with experts and managing a series of validation workshops at every stage of the CAADP Process.  The NAIP document still serves as a blue print for agriculture project implementation in Nigeria.

What motivated you to pursue a career in agriculture?

  • I was born in an agricultural environment. My father used to produce maize, sorghum, sweet potato and other crops and local chicken, and we knew from childhood what farming was all about.
  • My home town is on the River Niger. There is a local port where colonialists built a crop reconditioning centre where palm kernel was cleaned, weighed, paid for and then loaded into ships for export to Europe. Once the ship arrived, there was a long hooting of her horn which would attract people to see the type of ship coming to move palm kernel to Europe. That was my very first knowledge about commodities value chains – feeding industries overseas.
  • At the primary school level, I was introduced to making compost manure, crop and flower farming. We were also introduced to things like butter fly cycle, even other insects, going through the entire metamorphosis practically by ourselves and all these seemed to be very exciting to me. Thus, agriculture was written in my brain as a child.

How can agricultural education institutions more effectively prepare African students for successful agribusiness careers? 

  • Consider the needs of markets and employers in designing what we teach at the AET institutions. 
  • Consider the total value chain for commodities when teaching.  For example, if indeed the priority is in rice, then, put the curriculum together to fit the entire value chain of rice.
  • Insist on the quality of entrants. This must be right, otherwise it will spoil the good intentions to produce quality graduates. 
  • Maintain career managers. It seems as in many AETs, this is an issue of the past. It is extremely important to mentor and coach the students and show them where they are going, the world they are going to face and what they should expect.

Career highlights

  • Department of Planning, Ministry of Agriculture
  • CAADP Desk Officer, Ministry of Agriculture
  • National Coordinator, Office of the Special Advisor on Ethics and Values, President’s Office
  • Special Advisor on NEPAD, President’s Office
  • National Youth Service Scheme in Community Development Services Department
  • Veterinary Officer, Ayangba

Educational background

  • Primary school:
    • Qua Iboe Primary School.     
  • Secondary school:     
    • Ochaja Secondary School, Kwara State (now Kogi State).
    • Kwara State College of Technology in Ilorin City.
  • University:

    • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine , University of Ibadan.