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IITA, CIAT and CRS join forces to use research to transform farmers’ lives
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Contact: Tom Price
Catholic Relief Services
…AfDB president to commission $700,000 building for youth Agripreneurs
Nigeria’s Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, will on Monday speak on food security and Nigeria’s preparedness to diversify its economy using agriculture as a lever.
The Cassava Weed Management Project which is managed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is assisting African researchers to gain new knowledge on advances in weed science by drawing the expertise of United States researchers and their Nigerian counterparts thereby putting alive the legacies of Charles Darwin and making him proud.
International and national partners convene to discuss AfDB’s initiative to transform African agriculture
By Godwin Atser
By Godwin Atser
More action against sexual violence, workplace discrimination, and demands for a higher quota for women in key positions in the corporate and political landscape were perhaps the most discussed issues for this year’s International Women Day (IWD) celebration.
Though all of these are important, one must not forget the agony, pains and trauma the cassava woman farmer is facing in Africa trying to control weeds with some of them breaking their backs.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) launched the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase 1 (ATASP-1) on 6 March 2015 at IITA’s location in Abuja, Nigeria.
Efforts to control weeds in cassava farms received a boost with Nigerian engineers joining forces with experts from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to seek sustainable solutions to tackle the menace.
The team of engineers drawn from members of the academia, IITA, public and private sectors are exploring mechanical weeding options used elsewhere in the world with the hope of adapting them to African cropping systems.
In an interactive discussion aimed at unraveling bottlenecks to farming, young farmers identified devastations by weeds as the most challenging constraint demoralizing cassava farming and hurting yields.
“Our experience is that even before you complete the first course of weeding, you see another set of grasses coming behind,” Akinyele Bankole, a youth agripreneur with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, said during a meeting with members of the Cassava Weed Management team at IITA.
The activities of young men and women in the Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) program under the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have made the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President Dr Kanayo Nwanze proud; and rekindled the hope of a new generation of African agricultural entrepreneurs that will feed the continent, create wealth and employment.
An African consortium of international researchers and growers, backed by policymakers in regional blocs of eastern and southern Africa has declared “war” against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 (Foc TR4), a highly pathogenic form of the banana Fusarium wilt, previously confined to Asia, but recently introduced to a farm in northern Mozambique.
Improved maize germplasm developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and disseminated across Africa is improving livelihoods, and the impact on the continent is greater than earlier imagined, according to the President of the International Corn Foundation, Dr Soon Kwon Kim.
The negative consequences of climate change on agricultural production and productivity are with us and resolutions must be implemented to save West and Central Africa, said the Director General, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Dr Nteranya Sanginga.
Researchers at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have successfully grown seed yams in the air using aeroponics technology, raising hopes and more options for the propagation of virus- and disease-free planting materials.
In preliminary trials, Dr Norbert Maroya, Project Manager for the Yam Improvement for Incomes and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA) project at IITA, together with a team of scientists successfully propagated yam by directly planting vine cuttings in Aeroponics System (AS) boxes to produce mini-tubers in the air.
Researchers have identified maize parental lines and hybrids with high levels of drought tolerance among the early and the extra-early maturing maize genotypes developed and conserved by IITA.
This successful identification has led to the availability and the possibility of sustainable development of more resilient maize varieties with dual characteristics of escaping and tolerating drought in the near future.
Cassava, a rough and ready root crop that has long been the foundation of food security in Africa is finally getting the respect it deserves. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID) are investing $25.2M to improve the staple crop’s productivity and build human and technical capacity for plant breeding in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ibadan, Nigeria, 21 November 2012—Research for development partners launched today a major new program— called Humidtropics— that would help to boost incomes of poor farm families, mostly led by women, from agriculture in the humid tropics while preserving the land for future generations.
The CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics, otherwise known as Humidtropics, will help tackle the challenge of hunger and poverty in the tropical region.
This brief addresses the importance of biodiversity to agriculture from an angle often overlooked: that of the non-plant forms of life protecting crops in the field. The importance of these bacteria, insects, nematodes, fungi, spiders, mites, and viruses is often invisible, but it is being revealed in the devastating pest outbreaks that the world is seeing as balanced agro-ecosystems are disrupted.
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see the two institutions joining efforts to unlock the potential of Africa’s human, agricultural, and natural resources.
The push for a “Green Revolution” in Africa to increase agricultural production for food and economic development will not bear much fruit if adequate attention is not paid to managing soil fertility in the continent, says Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture.
“Solid soil fertility management is key… For cassava commercialization and our Green Revolution, we need to use fertilizers― organic and inorganic― alongside the high-yielding and disease-resistant varieties,” says Sanginga.