Insects and Human Welfare with Special Reference to their Role in Agricultural Production
This I believe is the second ineugural Lecture to be delivered by a Professor of Plant Science in this University but the first by a Nigerian Professor of Plant Science. My predecessor, Professor Duncan, who first inaugurated the chair of Plant Science showed in his treatise quite clearly the importance of weather in agricultural production in a discipline known as agro climatology. My own lecture today on "Insects and Human Welfare," is in the area of insect science known technically as entomology. You can see, therefore, that Plant Science has a broad scope, some of its disciplines seemingly unrelated to an uninitiated observer. Indeed, I have often been asked: 'If you study insects, which are in any case animals, why are you not in the Department of Animal Science?'. As an agricultural entomologist the ultimate aim of my study of insects is to be able to reduce the damages insect pests do to crop plants, livestock and agricultural produce, and quite recently, that function has been extended to the improvement of environmental factors under which beneficial insects like parasites or predators of insect pests and insects that pollinate flowers can multiply and thrive well. But principally because insect pests of crops are several times more numerous than pests of livestock, entomologists are based in the Department of Plant Science rather than the Department of Animal Science.