The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, says it has developed maize, sorghum and other crops seed varieties that can withstand flooding.
The institute said the new seeds would resist flood menace for a period of time to cushion the effect of climate change on agricultural investments.
Prof. Mohammed Faguji, the Executive Director of IAR, made this known during an interview with newsmen in Zaria, Kaduna State, on Thursday.
Faguji noted that the flood and drought being experience in several areas were evidence of scientific findings which confirms the effect of climate change to the environment.
The executive director, therefore, urged key stakeholders in the sector to put in place practical means of mitigating the effect of climate change.
He added that going by the scientific prediction, the region may likely stay around with this kind of unfortunate natural disasters for a very long time to come.
“Even though flood occurs annually in Nigeria, this year it was an extra-ordinary,’’ the executive director said.
He added that one of the measures adopted by the institute was the development of maize seed variety that can withstand flooding for a period of time.
“From maize we want to expand to sorghum and later in future we will look at how some other crops can be effectively produced under flooded situation.
“We have developed drought tolerant variety of maize and we have commenced the development of flood tolerant variety.
“The research is promising; we have identified some genotypes that would lead to developing good varieties,’’ he said.
According to him, the flood is so significant that it is estimated that over 30 per cent of agricultural investments in states such as Jigawa, Kogi, Kebbi and some parts of Kano and Bauchi States will be lost.
“Therefore, this will naturally translate into shortage in the annual harvest of grains and other agricultural products which consequently results in shorter supply of food items to Nigerians.
“ We all know the relationship between demand and supply theory; if the demand supersedes the supply as in this case.
“Our own internal supply of food items will be affected grossly as the result of the incidence and naturally we should expect rise in the prices of items.
“This rise in the price of food is different from the earlier ones which Nigerians were complaining against.
” He appealed for a carefully designed interventions towards ensuring that the food supply system maintains its natural equilibrium, urging government to encourage farmers to farm against next year and any part of this season.
The executive director said there were people who were anxiously waiting and advocating for the importation of food uncontrollably into the country, pointing out that“ such importation which is completely not in our interest’’.
Heowever, he said the food importation, `if necessary’, must be controlled.
The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and under the chairmanship of the Head of Government, Najla Bouden, organized on 1 and 02 September 2022, the event TUNISIA TICAD INNOVATION 2022 "Crossroads of Business and Innovation in Africa.
In this context, the Head of Government presided over the opening of the International Exhibition of Innovation, Research and Invention, as well as the award ceremony of the 3rd edition of the National Competition of Invention and the 1st World Championship of Invention and Scientific Research, as part of the parallel events to the Tokyo Conference for Development in Africa -TICAD 8.
These events were organized by the Agency for the Promotion of Industry and Innovation (APII) (http://www.TunisieIndustrie.nat.tn), in the presence of the ambassadors of Japan, Egypt and the European Union, the President of UTICA, high-level official delegations, national and international organizations, institutions and funding and investors.
The exhibition saw the participation of 15 countries of different nationalities, including African countries, among which Tunisia.
The best innovations and research candidates for the third edition of the National Competition of Invention and the first World Championship of Invention and Scientific Research, as well as startups and innovative companies especially in the sectors and services of automotive components and aerospace, were reviewed, in addition to the participation of support structures involved in the system of innovation, research and technology promotion.
The Prime Minister together with the Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy presented the prizes to the winners of the National Invention Competition in its third edition and the World Invention Championship, both competitions were evaluated by an international jury of experts of different nationalities, the results of which resulted in the crowning of a set of individual and institutional inventions within the framework of the national competition and the victory of candidates from different countries within the framework of the World Invention Championship, as follows : 3rd edition of the National Invention Contest CATEGORY “INDIVIDUAL INVENTOR" 1stprize – Mr. Sofiane BEN ABDALLAH Invention: Digital system for voice warning of road drivers by infrared digital road signs 2nd prize - Mr. Hamadi BEN MIM Invention : Propeller alternator that charges the batteries of electric cars 3rd prize – Ms. Fatma AROUSSI Invention : Waterproof stockings and leg prosthesis fixers CATEGORY "INSTITUTIONAL INVENTOR" 1stprize - Ms. Erij MESSAADI– Institut Pasteur de Tunis Invention : Lebecetin (LCT), a molecule derived from snake venom, as a neovascularization inhibitor in the treatment of ocular diseases, cancers or inflammatory disorders with neovascular component 2nd prize - Ms. Basma HADJ KACEM– Biotechnological Center of Sfax. Invention : Pharmaceutical preparation with high anti-hemorrhagic power 3rd prize - Ms. Nidhal SALEM– Borj Cedria Biotechnology Center Invention : Process for obtaining a meat bioconservative based on a natural colorant 1st International Championship of Invention and Scientific Research The winners of the World Championship were crowned with world prizes and titles such as the "Europe Prize" awarded by the European Union, the "Africa Prize" awarded by the African Development Bank (ADB) and the "Tunisia Prize" awarded by the Deposit and Consignment Office and funded by the World Bank. CATEGORY "INVENTOR" 1stprize - (TUNISIA) Ms. Basma HADJ KACEM Invention : Pharmaceutical preparation with high anti-hemorrhagic power 2nd prize - (KUWAIT) Ms. HAWRAA MAIRZA Mr. Talel AL HIZAMI, Mr. Mohamed Salah EL DHAFIRI Mr. Abderrazak EL KHALAF Mr. Mohamed Nawef EL BAHR Invention : Special Machines based on IOT technology 3rd prize - KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA Ms. HESSA ABDALLAH EL HUWEISH Invention : Tool for identifying ocular inclinations CATEGORY "RESEARCHER" 1st prize - TUNISIA Ms. YOSR GHOZZI Mr. ADEL MOHAMED ALIMI Ms. IKHLASS BEN AYED Mr. SABER MASMOUDI Mr. TARAK MOHAMED HAMDANI Invention : Application to search for similar dysmorphic images 2nd prize - JORDAN Mr. FADI CHAHROURI Invention : Design of low voltage integrated circuits 3rd prize TUNISIA - Mr. EL AKRAM HAYOUNI Invention : Development of an intensive breeding system of edible insect species to initiate the basis of tomorrow's human and animal food.
JORDAN - Ms. ALAA YOUSSEF GHIDHAN Invention : Nanotechnological applications in medicine These prizes were awarded by the European Union, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the Deposit and Consignment Office, the Abdelwahab Ben Ayed Foundation, the structures and support institutions under the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, as well as by the Global Universal Innovations (GOIDI) and the International Federation of Invention (IFIA) The Prime Minister also visited the pavilion of startups specializing in technology sectors and useful innovations in the fields of environment, green economy, artificial intelligence and health.
She also visited the Automotive Hackathon area, which brings together several teams of engineers specialized in the field of information software for the development of innovative software in the automotive components sector, which allowed her to meet young innovative creators capable of creating inventions with high added value for the future of a smart industry based on innovative and groundbreaking rules.
The following is a list of the winners of the awards presented by the Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy and awarded by the German Cooperation Program: Hackathon « HACK AFRICA AUTOMATIVE » I.
First challenge – Challenge sponsor: VISTEON Smart troubleshooting application 1st Laureate As the results expected by the challenge holder and the organizers were not achieved, the first prize for the selected challenge (will not be awarded) 2nd Laureate NEURODATA team consisting of : Yassine Hamdaoui - Bacem Ben Hamdaoui - Feriel Haouala II.
Second challenge Challenge sponsor: FRACAMA Mastery of the requirements in terms of "carbon Foot print" 1st Laureate BOTVERSE team consisting of : Eya kaabachi - Semah kadri - Chaima khemiri - Fares moalla - Moez bouchoucha 2nd Laureate LAB DIGITAL BONTAZ team consisting of : Jemli Ghassen - Mohamed Ali Hosni - Ahlem Mahmoud - Imen Ben Samir - Mohamed Weslati III.
Third challenge Challenge sponsor: StartupGateX and ACTIA AFRICA SMART ASSISTANCE CAR DASHBOARD USING AI TECHNOLOGY 1st Laureate TONOM team consisting of : Achraf gazzeh - Ahmed marnissi - Oussema jlassi - Meryem soltani - Khawla soltani 2nd Laureate Bug Busters team consisting of : Zahra Soula - Maudhaffer Bouallegui - Dorra Makhloufi - Yasmine Daly - Nour Sbaoul TEAMCAD team consiseting of : Mohamed ali zormati - Hana ben Ghezail - Yassine ayadi - Ranim saidi - Anis ben ghanem Pitching Sessions Among the side events organized is a matchmaking gathering of startups in the fields of technological innovation, under the joint organization of the APII and the Startup Tunisia Foundation, which focuses on the promotion of projects, the creation of a space for exchange and networking of young researchers and funding.
These projects include: Startup Sector Founder Sghartoon EdTech Hidayet Ayadi A learning application for children using interactive cartoons, exercises and games, with content adapted for dyslexic children.
Bako Motors Automobile Boubaker Siala Bako Motors manufactures electric vehicles, with a solar power system, to ensure a range of 40 km per day, and offers professional adaptation solutions for a rapid entry into electric mobility.
Pixii Motors Mobility Anis Fkih Manufacture of an intelligent two-wheeled electric scooter designed for two people with a removable battery, including an intelligent dashboard combining software and hardware engineering.
Ezzayra Solutions AgriTech Yasser Bououd Development and integration of technological products for agriculture.
Software, hardware and robotics.
KUMULUS GreenTech Iheb Triki Kumulus specializes in building machines the size of mini-fridges, producing 30 liters of drinking water per day using only solar energy and atmospheric humidity.
Wattnow Energy solutions Malek Attallah Wattnow offers an IoT power monitoring and control solution that helps businesses reduce waste and improve energy efficiency Historiar Creative Tech Houda BAKIR et Jihed Makni HistorIAR relies on artificial intelligence and augmented reality to offer a mobile application for "immersive augmented tours" to visitors of archaeological and heritage sites.
Med.tn HealthTech Issam Bellaj Med.tn is a platform for making appointments, medical directory and teleconsultation.
NextAv Mobility Hichem Mokni NextAV provides innovative solutions and services for aerial mapping and photography, starting from ultralight aircraft to large-scale drones.
RoboCare Agritech Imen Hbiri Robocare offers a solution to the rapid spread of diseases in greenhouse plants and the extensive use of pesticides.
Robocare detects diseases at an early stage using spectral technology, which will improve the quality and quantity of crops and reduce the use of pesticides.
Cynoia Business management Nassreddine Riahi Cynoia is a platform that brings together all your communication and collaboration tools under one roof, simply and efficiently.
Recommendations from the TUNISIA TICAD INNOVATION 2022: 1/ Perpetuate TTINN 2022 to ensure annual follow-up of the TICAD International Conference preparatory actions focusing on economic themes and priorities for Africa's transformation through innovation and industrialization.
2/ Consolidate through the establishment of the Africa-Japan Symposium on Society, Science and Technology (AFJASSST), a multidisciplinary international conference, which will focus on economic, technical, scientific and technological innovation in partnership with TICAD member countries.
3/ Establishing a network of technoparks, incubators and school innovation centers: This includes the establishment of networks of technoparks, schools, high schools, universities and incubators connected in Africa for the promotion of regional and international partnerships in all high value-added sectors and investments in knowledge and innovation with TICAD countries and the rest of the world, drawing on Japanese expertise in this field.
4/ Creation and launching of the initiative of creating an Invention Industrialization Fund and a platform bringing together researchers and industrialists on the African continent.
5/ Annual organization of the International Championship of Invention and Scientific Research by the international organizing committee composed of Everest International for Invention (member of Global International Development Investment), Agencies and International National Financial Institutions.
The headquarters of this committee will be in Tunisia.
The applications of the countries wishing to host the 2nd edition of the international championship of invention and scientific research will be known later.
All these events will only be possible if a national and international steering committee associated with the TICAD organizing committee is quickly set up in partnership with the countries of the African continent.
It is worth highlighting that the event featured several workshops on various industry and innovation axes, including one on technology transfer strategies, another on water, energy and material sciences for sustainable development in Africa, as well as on biotechnology, health, food, agriculture, information and communication technologies, as well as innovative relationships between personal medicine, genetic engineering, nanotechnology and innovations, and the Crowdfunding project.
Of the 2,985 who registered, 1,583 attended the event, with 764 online attendees, 253 partnership applications and 89 exhibitors.
The organizers of the event have sought to strengthen the role of Tunisia as a strategic partner of Africa and promote its presence in the scientific field to the international community, in partnership with Japan and the TICAD countries, and technology transfer to developing countries.
A Professor of Soil Microbiology and Biochemistry, Lateef Taiwo, has warned farmers against the application of excessive fertilizers and pesticides on soil.
Taiwo, of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training(IAR&T), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), gave the warning during the university’s Inaugural Lecture Series 365 on Tuesday in Ile-Ife, Osun. Delivering a lecture titled, ”Anthropogenic Disruption of Microbial Ecosystem in Soil:The Crisis Beneath Our Feet,” Taiwo drew the attention of farmers and stakeholders to the poisonous effect of excessive fertilizer use.
He noted that in the past, the foods that people consumed were products of minimum tillage, saying that the use of organic fertilizers was the norm as agro-chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides were not available.
“With the increase in the use of herbicides in modern agriculture, the problem of the negative effects of these agro-chemicals on soil microbes have generated more attention.
“Applied herbicides have been reported to be harmful to allochthonous organisms, disrupt the soil ecosystem and ultimately affect human health by gaining access into human food chain.
“Their persistence in soil has also been reported to affect soil fertility.
“Pesticide residues can be found in soils a long time after application.
This confirms that a shift in our practices is needed urgently,” he said.
Taiwo maintained that soil needs to function well but some modern practices effectively prevented it, particularly the use of pesticides.
He stressed that pesticides do not just attack plant pests but also attack soil beneficial organisms, thus weakening the soil’s ability to deliver its full contribution to plant protection.
“Everyone needs to take a deeper look at the long-lasting damages that pesticides cause to soils and what policy makers should do about it.
“There is a lot of activity being carried out in the soil and once the activities are disrupted, they will not be able to carry out the responsibility which God has bestowed on them and that would have adverse effect on food production.
“Especially when the soil that we all depend on is poisoned and the life of the soil which is the micro would be adversely affected,” the don stressed.
He decried the lackadaisical attitude of youths towards farming, noting that they are not interested in farming because they see farming as tedious, time-consuming, unattractive and has low return on investment.
“There is, therefore, more intensification of the agricultural practices by the few people who now cultivate the land.
“Intensive agriculture which comprises farming practices such as maximum tillage and the use of agro-chemicals is now the norm,” he said.
Taiwo, who advised farmers to stop excessive fertilizer and bush burning on their field, also charged them to regulate the amount of pesticides which they apply to their soil.
“All these activities distrupt the soil’s microbial ecosystem, adversely affecting soil fertility and end food production in the country,” Taiwo added.
Prof. James Adediran of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun, has called on the government to pay more attention to soil research to increase food security.
Adediran, a Professor of Soil Fertility and Organic Agriculture, made the call when he delivered the 362nd Inaugural Lecture of the University at the Oduduwa Hall, Ile-Ife, on Tuesday.
The lecture is titled, “The Natural Treasures Inherent in Soil: Explore and Manage It for Agricultural Production, Sustenance of Life and Survival of Mankind”.
He also urged all tiers of government to promote Soil Testing Programme and provide subsidy for soil testing to Nigerian farmers to enhance the resource base of the nation and its environment.
The don said recycling organic wastes to fertilizers and technologies on Integrated Soil Fertility Management involving alternative utilisation of resource materials should be encouraged by the government among Nigerian farmers.
According to him, the thrust of the lecture is to draw attention to soil management techniques which majority of Nigerian farmers must embrace if the nation’s soil resources are to be exploited in a sustainable manner to ensure food security.
He noted that the soil has treasures and there is need to explore it; manage it for agricultural production for sustenance of the nation.
He, however, highlighted the importance of soil and its elements which made up life with certain treasures that made it sustainable to mankind.
“Whatever we do, we should take care not to damage soil; we need to take care of soil, automatically we are taking care of ourselves, this generation and next ones to come.
“When we harvest our crops, we took some nutrients away; we ate some of these nutrients, not bordered going back to this soil until death, but what we consume, we passed them out to the soil,” Adediran stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adediran was a former Executive Director, Institute of Agricultural Research & Training(IAR&T), Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Oyo State. (www.nanews.ng)
By Félicia Imohimi
HarvestPlus, an international organization, says it is currently working on the development of corn and rice fortified with zinc to increase the micronutrient deficiency of the population.
Mr. Dollah Yusuf, acting national director of the organization, gave the hint in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency Tuesday, in Abuja.
Yusuf explained that the development and release of zinc corn and rice would enable citizens to have a complete food basket or to access these essential nutrients and vitamins, through the food they consume.
According to him, for the moment, the organization has developed cassava fortified with vitamin A, maize, sweet potato and millet fortified with iron.
Yusuf noted that the organization is collaborating with the National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI), the Agricultural Research Institute (IAR) and the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. (ICRISAT) to develop and deliver nutrient-rich crops to people.
He noted that HavestPlus' mission was to develop and scale up the delivery of these nutritious crops around the world, so that every child and everyone who needs them can have access to them.
“HarvestPlus Nigeria is working with NRCRI, IAR and ICRISAT to develop and supply nutrient rich crops like vitamin A fortified cassava, maize and orange sweet potato.
“Others are sorghum iron and millet iron, which we strongly encourage with ICRISAT. At the moment, work is underway on zinc fortified maize and we will soon be discussing with the NRCRI the development of zinc rice in Nigeria.
“HarvestPlus is an organization leading global efforts in the fight against malnutrition, through biofortification in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
"Our vision is a world free from hidden hunger or micronutrient deficiencies, which occur when the quality of the food people eat does not meet their nutritional needs, so that they do not receive essential vitamins and minerals," necessary for their growth and development.
“Hidden hunger affects two billion people around the world,” he said.
Yusuf noted that HarvestPlus began promoting these crops with social intervention.
According to him, social intervention is a situation in which plant material is provided free of charge to farmers, by the organization.
He explained that over the past two years, the organization has worked with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition to commercialize value chains in a project called “Commercializing Biofortified Crops”.
The measure, according to him, is to ensure that the seed company which multiplies these varieties makes money from them, just like the agro dealer who sells seeds at the community level.
“The collaboration also aims to ensure that the farmer increases the yields with these varieties and improves his income, the processor who processes the products is able to have quality raw materials from these varieties and that gives results.
“Based on the crop indications we're getting from the field nationwide, 2021 will be a year of vitamin A corn,” he noted.
The federal government on Sunday granted environmental approval for the assessment and outdoor cultivation of TELA corn in the country.
This is contained in a statement by Mr. Alex Abutu, Communications Officer of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), West and Central Africa, in Abuja.
Abutu explained that TELA maize is a variety developed by researchers at the Agricultural Research Institute (IAR) of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, which is resistant to fall armyworm, stem borers and tolerates drought. moderate.
He said the decision is contained in a certificate issued to the IRA by the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA).
The NBMA is an agency mandated to regulate genetically modified products in the country.
He stated that the certificate, dated October 8, 2021, with the permit code no. NBMA / CM / 003, has been issued to IAR for general / commercial release of TELA maize genetically modified for drought tolerance, resistance to stem borer and fall armyworm.
It comes into force from October 8, 2021 to October 5, 2024.
According to him, the document accompanying the NBMA certificate indicated that in arriving at the decision to grant the permit, the agency had taken into consideration the opinion of its technical sub-committee and the risk management report provided by the applicant.
“The Agency was convinced that there are no known negative impacts on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, given the risks to human health.
“The permit, in accordance with this decision, is without prejudice to other legal requirements in force.
"This permit authorizes the permit holder and persons covered by the permit to market TELA corn genetically modified for drought tolerance and insect resistance," he said.
The statement quoted Professor Ishiyaku Mohammed, executive director of the IAR, as saying that it was truly inspiring for the IAR to get NBMA approval for the commercial release of drought and insect resistant corn (TELA MAIZE).
“This further highlights the capacity and commitment of IAR to provide effective solutions to the agricultural problems facing our farmers and to optimize the food security of Nigerians.
“The approval will pave the way for combating the devastating effects of drought and insect pests through the deployment of this new variety of corn in our farming system.
“The next step is to further assess the performance of this new variety by farmers on their fields in all major maize growing areas in Nigeria.
“Thereafter, we will seek further approval from the National Variety Release Committee before making the seeds commercially available to farmers for sowing in the 2023 harvest season.
The statement also quotes Dr Canisius Kagire, executive director of AATF, as saying that the approval showed Nigeria truly is the giant leading the way in Africa.
Kagaire said the office will ensure small farmers benefit from life-changing technologies that have transformed agriculture in other parts of the world.
“The approval of the Government of Nigeria is a sign that we are making good progress, especially in our quest to expand options for smallholder farmers.
In addition, Dr Sylvester Oikeh, AATF TELA corn project manager, said in the statement that the approval would be the start of a new era for corn farmers who have suffered badly from the double problem of drought. and devastating insect pests caused by climate change.
Professor Rabiu Adamu, principal investigator of TELA Maize, said that with deregulation, the institute would be allowed to conduct multi-location trials to assess the yield and adaptability of TELA hybrids in different agroecologies in Nigeria. .
By Mustapha Yauri
The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) said it will work with the Agricultural Research Institute (IAR) of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria to promote a genetically improved maize variety.
Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, Director General of NABDA made it known by informing reporters during the harvest of the third round of trials for the TELA maize project on Tuesday in Zaria.
Mustapha said the collaboration would improve the use of biotechnology, research and development in agriculture.
He said the harvest had shown remarkable progress as it eliminated the challenge of the Fall Armyworm, which had wreaked havoc on corn growers a few years ago.
Mustapha added that NABDA will continue to work with IAR and other institutions across the country to promote research and development in biotechnology in agriculture, to revive the sector and make it a net contributor to the country's GDP. .
"In everything you do, some people will deny, there is no scientific evidence that improving crops using biotechnology has a negative effect on health."
The NABDA boss challenged anyone with scientific proof that crops grown by biotechnology cause harm to humans to present such evidence.
Senior researcher Professor Rabiu Adamu said the research focused on increasing maize productivity in Nigeria.
Adamu noted that in the recent past, maize yield was very low, at less than three tonnes per hectare.
He said, however, that the new seed variety developed by the institute's research had increased production to eight tonnes per hectare.
The lead investigator said the institute is currently working on new hybrids and varieties that are resistant to drought and pests such as stembora and FAW.
He added that the institute had conducted three trials and the results were consistent, and would soon reach a dosage for environmental release and other work outside the research station.
“We will go to the field of state farmers to test the viability of the variety and its performance.
“We hope that in two years the variety will be available to Nigerian farmers so that they can cultivate it and improve the overall maize productivity in the country.
“In 2020 Nigeria produced 12 million metric tonnes of maize and the country needs 18 million metric tonnes of maize to feed its people and meet its industrial needs.
“Therefore, we need to do more to bridge the gap,” Adamu said.
Earlier, Professor Mohammad-Faguji Ishiyaku, director of IAR, said that the savings farmers would make from maize would be over 3 billion naira from spraying insecticides on 500 hectares of land and 6 billion naira from the effect of drought. (NOPE)(NAN)
Prof. Kingsley Adesehinwa, of the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, has emerged the Vice President of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS), after the institute’s election held in Abuja.
The IAR&T Public Relations Officer, Dr Niyi Amusat made this known in a statement on Thursday in Ibadan.
According to the statement, Adesehinwa is also the National President of Pig Farmers Association of Nigeria and former head of Livestock Improvement Program, IAR&T, Ibadan.
It stated that the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science is the umbrella body for all animal scientists in the country, while it was established by the National Assembly Act No 26 of 2007.
“Prof. Adesehinwa will serve as the Vice President of the institute for the next three years.
“The management and members of staff of IAR&T congratulate the erudite professor on this well deserved achievement.
“We wish him success in the new assignment,” the statement stated.
Edited By: Razak Owolabi
Cultivation of millet and sorghum are in sharp decline in Nigeria, the Executive Director, National Agricultural Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS), Prof. Emmanuel Ikani, said on Tuesday in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Speaking at a sensitisation workshop and seed fair on sorghum and millet value chains, Ikani attributed the decline to farmers’ inability to access improved seeds for cultivation, thereby making them to plant less than one hectare each.
He said that the sponsor of the workshop, the African Development Bank, had observed that sorghum and millet grow across many international borders and have high potentialities in Africa, especially in the semi-arid region.
“The Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria has also developed more than 40 varieties of sorghum, while the Lake Chad Research Institute has also come up with many improved millet seeds,’’ he said.
Ikani called on relevant stakeholders to engage farmers in the rural communities through enlightenment and sensitisation to return to the production of millet as well as sorghum.
The director added that millet and sorghum have nutritious benefits and that a recipe from millet is used in the production of medicines to cure diabetics, cancer and other diseases; while sorghum is used in producing biscuits and malted drinks, among others.
Ikani was represented at the workshop by the Deputy Director of the institute by NAERLS’s deputy director, Prof. Yusuf-Ahmad Sani.
In his contribution, Dr Sharif Wali, representative of the Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) also decried the decline in maize production.
Wali said LCRI had released many millet varieties and was still improving on its researches.
“Recently we have come up with millet varieties with other good agronomic practices. The institute appeals for more value addition to millet similar to what obtains with rice and maize,’’ he said.
Alhaji Malami Abubakar, Sokoto State Project Manager, who spoke on behalf Agricultural Development Programmes, said the collaboration between NAERLS and the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on millet and sorghum was fruitful.
Abubakar said the collaboration centred on the improvement and attainment of enhanced production to improve the economic status of farmers.
He added that the ADPs were ready to sustain collaboration with ICRISAT and other key stakeholders for farmers to get improve seeds and for better agronomic practices.
Similarly, Malam Idris Magaji, representatives of farmers warned that farmers in many parts of the country had abandoned the production of millet and shifted their attention to rice and maize cultivation.
Magaji said: “part of the reason for the shift from millet and sorghum cultivation to rice and maize cultivation was the full value chain in rice and maize that was lacking on millet and sorghum.’’
Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Alli Hakeem
Prof. Ebenezer Adebowale, former Director of the Institute of Agricultural Research &Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, has been appointed a member of the committee on the repositioning of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN).
IAR&T Public Relations Officer, Dr Niyi Amusat, who made the disclosure in a statement he issued on Saturday in Ibadan said that Adebowale was IAR&T boss between 2003 to 2008 and a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science (NIAS).
“The management and the entire staff of IAR&T congratulate our indefatigable former director on this well deserved appointment in the service of his fatherland.
“We pray God gives him and the committee wisdom to discharge their duty effectively,” he said in the statement.
Amusat said the committee on the repositioning of ARCN was inaugurated recently in Abuja by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
He said ARCN has a core mandate to coordinate, supervise, monitor and evaluate agricultural research, extension and training in all the national agricultural research institutes and federal colleges of agriculture in Nigeria.
“ARCN also serves as a research manager and offers policy advisory services to the Federal Government of Nigeria on agricultural research and development, ‘’ the statement said.