PROF ADEWUNMI TAIWO
PROFESSOR OF FARM POWER AND MACHINERY
The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission joins the family, academia and other well-wishers across the globe in celebrating one of our worthy scholars, Professor Adewunmi Taiwo as he clocked 70 on Sunday, October 9, 2022.
Adewunmi Taiwo was born on October 9, 1952 in Lagos, into a humble family of agricultural professionals. His parents, Late Dr Adekunle Taiwo and Mrs Olufunke Taiwo (still alive) travelled to UK for studies and upon their return to Nigeria in 1959, the father was employed to head a Poultry Investigation Centre (PIC) owned by the defunct Western Regional Government located at Fashola via Oyo town. The seven-year stay of Adewunmi on the site had great influence on his career later in life because modern agricultural features such a full-fledged cattle ranch, sophisticated workshop where some useful agricultural implements such as PTO-powered tractor-trailed rotary mower, tractor mounted leveling blades and numerous locally fabricated tools were on the site.
Adewunmi had his primary school education at St. Phillips Primary School, Fashola (located opposite the PIC), from where he gained admission into the famous Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo for his secondary school education. As a result of his interest and interaction with the professional colleagues of his father, especially the late Engineer Oshobu, an agricultural engineer, little Adewunmi had become familiar with Agriculture and Agricultural engineering. He could virtually identify all modern agricultural equipment, and the unit operations for which they were designed. It was therefore not a surprise to find him opt for membership in the young Farmers Club, rather than no other extra-curricular activities at Olivet.
At the end of his secondary school education, he proceeded to California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, United State of America where he obtained his first degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1980. His outstanding performance made his department to nominate him as a resource person during the annual Training Program for members of the Future Farmers of America (FFA). He was a recipient of the Alpha Kappa Miew (AKM) academic fraternity honours award of the Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA in 1975; two-time outstanding achievement awardee of the Nigerian Students Union of Southeast California; and was also admitted into the President’s Club of the AMERICAN Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE now ASABE) in 1982.
Prof. Taiwo returned to Nigeria for NYSC immediately after his graduation on the advice of his father and later joined a booming family agricultural business as Production Manager of the Feedmill. He also registered at the University of Ibadan where he obtained his Master’s degree also in Agricultural Engineering. Between 1988 and 1991, he was invited to work as a Mechanical Engineer/Small Tools Specialist on a UNDP-funded, FAO-implemented Rice-based Inland Valley Swamp Development project, located in Moyamba, Sierra-Leone.
He started a mechanized farming in Iseyin Local government area of Oyo state because his contract could no longer be renewed in Sierra Leone, as a result of the country’s civil war. He was forced to leave his 20 hectares farm by pastoralists who drove a herd of about 2000 cows to the farm for fodder at harvest time. This devastating experience jolted him and he shifted to academics as he was then employed as Lecturer I by LAUTECH on October 1st, 1998. He rose through dint of hard work and perseverance to the rank of a Professor in 2016. He was a co-recipient of Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) grant for research on “Production of Cassava Chips and Utilization of Peels as Energy Source in Animal Feed Production.”
Professor Taiwo has served the university in various capacities as Acting Head, Department of Mechanical Engineering; Acting Head, Department of Agricultural Engineering; Member, Repairs and Servicing Sub-committee; Member Senate Committee on Practical Business Ownership; Member Senate Committee on the establishment of the faculty of Science; Faculty Representative, University Students Affairs Council; Faculty Representative in the University Industrial Coordinating Unit; Chairman, Faculty Committee on the Proposed Establishment of the Department of Vocation and Technical Education; just to mention a few. He was Faculty Committee member on the establishment of a Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Ogbomoso and he received Foundation Technical Secretary Award in 2016.
Professor Taiwo has successfully supervised/co-supervised several undergraduates and post-graduate students and two PhD research supervision works are still ongoing. He has also served as external examiner for M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Universities in Ghana and Nigeria. He is registered as an Engineer with COREN and a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Ghana Institution of Engineer, Nigerian Institutions of Agricultural Engineers and American society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers amongst many others.
He is currently credited with 71 published works; of which 40 amongst them are journal articles in reputable local and international journals with high impact factors as well as books, chapters in books, technical reports and articles in conferences proceedings. He has made presentations in 35 international and local conferences including conferences of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).
This unassuming, down to earth and practical scholar operates and repairs tractors and other euipments as he was acclaimed to be the first person to utilize the four-wheel tractor successfully in the Inland Valley Swamp Ecology in the Republic of Sierra Leone. He was the first Nigerian to work as a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) in the same country. He went on Sabbatical Leave to the University of Cape Coast, Ghana in 2013 and is currently on accumulated leave at Nigeria’s premier private university, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State. There he is implementing an oil-palm value chain project. His research interest is in the area of mechanization of unit operations in agricultural value chain.
On Thursday, 7th October, 2021, Professor Adewunmi Taiwo delivered the 48th inaugural lecture of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, entitled: AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION WITHOUT MECHANISATION: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. As part of his recommendations, he called on research institutions to invest on extensive research in agricultural mechanization that suits our environment better and respond to new challenges such as climate change. He also suggested that such researches should include multidisciplinary teams of researchers and practitioners in order to incorporate the perspectives of all stakeholders including local farmers.
He made many ground-breaking impacts both at the local and international levels. His hobbies include poultry keeping, land-scaping, swimming and reading.
He is an ordained Deacon at the University of Ibadan Baptist Church and happily married to Dr Olusade Taiwo, an adorable development economist as well as a retiree of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research-NISER. He described his wife, Dr. Olusade Taiwo, as a woman who was divinely placed to make up for his inadequacies and areas of weaknesses. He often describes her as having the combined virtues of ‘a Deborah, Esther and a Dorcas’.
The union is blessed with three lovely children – Taiwo Adedolapo, Kehinde Adedamola and Adetoun Oludara; and grandchildren.
Professor Adewunmi Taiwo, who will clock 70 on Sunday, October 9, 2022 has been described by many as a true Nigerian who has actually contributed and is still contributing to the development of mechanized agriculture in Nigeria.
DAWN Commission celebrates you for your notable achievements in your chosen career.
He is, indeed, an epitome of an OMOLUABI.