IITA Bulletin No. 2195

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    THE

    Issue No. 2195 21-25 October 2013

    www.iita.org

    Got a story to share? Please email it with photos and captions to Andrea Gros (a.gros@cgiar.org), Katherine Lopez (k.lopez@

    cgiar.org), Jeffrey T. Oliver (j.oliver@cgiar.org), Godwin Atser (g.atser@cgiar.org), or Catherine Njuguna (c.njuguna@cgiar.org).

    IITA management team visits northern Nigeria

    Ateam comprising of Drs Ken Dashiell(DDG-Partnership and CapacityDevelopment), Ylva Hilbur (DDG-Research), Chikoye (Director, SouthernAfrica Hub), and several scientists visitednorthern Nigeria on 1-4 October to lookat research activities carried out by IITAscientists and collaborators in the region.

    On 1 October the team visited the IITAresearch farm at Minjibr where they sawresearch activities on cowpea breeding,crop agronomy, and pest management. Theteam also visited Tundu Wada in Kano State

    to see mother and baby trials conductedby scientists to evaluate and disseminateStriga management technologies withinthe Integrated Striga Management projectfunded by the Bill & Melinda GatesFoundation. The visitors were taken toDaka Sallie to see commercial farmswhere over 50 ha of land is planted tothe IITA-improved maize variety 99EVDTTZE STR. The impressive performanceof the variety known as SAMMAZ 27conrmed the good performance of IITAmaize varieties.

    On 2 October, Station Representative,

    Dr Alpha Kamara took the team aroundthe IITA station. The tour gave Dr Hilbur,who is visiting Kano for the rst time,an opportunity to see research activitiesundertaken in the Station, including labsand the seed stores. Before leaving forZaria, Dr Hilbur addressed the staff ofIITA Kano Station and encouraged themto continue the good work they are doing.On the way to Zaria, the team visited acommercial farm at Tilga Dam to seelarge-scale production of maize andsoybean. The team also met with Mr KolaMasha and farmers of the Babban Gona

    Agricultural Francishe project at IkaraLocal Government Area of Kaduna State.During the visit, Mr Masha presented onthe activities of the project which helpedthe farmers improve maize productivitythrough acquisition of credit and inputs.

    In Zaria, the team was welcomed by theVice Chancellor of the Ahmadu BelloUniversity Zaria and the Director of theInstitute of Agricultural Research (IAR)Zaria. In a brief ceremony the two leadersthanked IITA for supporting IAR over the

    past 30 years. They were particularly gratefulfor IITAs investment in the development

    of capacity in soil microbiology researchthrough the N2Africa project. Dr. Dashiellthanked the management of ABU and

    IAR for their collaboration with IITA indeveloping and disseminating agriculturaltechnologies for the benet of farmers innorthern Nigeria.

    Dr Dashiell commissioned a brand newscreen house, a new Mikano Generator, andequipment in the microbiology laboratory.These items were funded by IITA throughthe N2Africa project.

    On 3 October, the team visited Chika farmwhere IITA scientists conduct researchto develop technologies for the Guineasavannas of West Africa. Dr Kamara tookthem on a tour of the farm where theysaw trials on cowpea, breeding, agronomy,cassava breeding, and seed multiplication.The team also visited the research farm ofthe Premier Seed Company Ltd where IITAmaize breeders collaborate in developingmaize varieties and hybrids adapted to theWest African savannas. The team also saw

    research activities of the N2Africa projectin Zaria.

    The team visited IITA-Abuja on 4October. Dr Gbassey Tarawali, Head ofStation and IITAs Representative in Abuja,introduced staff and partners that includedrepresentatives of the Department ofAgriculture of the Federal Capital Territory(IITAs hosts who leased the land to IITA)

    and sister organizations, such as IFDC, andgave an overview on the Abuja Station.

    The group toured the facilities, suchas the new ofce building, bakery, yam

    barn, soil treatment shed, screen house,and multipurpose processing center. DeboAkande, project manager, also talked aboutthe benets of aasafe to farmers in northern

    Nigeria. The IFDC and AfricaRice trials onrice, sorghum, and maize demonstratingthe efcient use of urea using the DeepPlacement Method were also visited.

    IITA management team and scientists inspects improved cowpea varieties in the screenhouse.

    IITA management team visits maize breeding plots in Abuja.

    THE

    BULLETINTHE

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    page 2IITA Bulletin 2195

    L-R: DDG Akuffo-Akoto with Chief Anyaoku

    Tap IITA, DDG Ken Dashiell tells Zambian partners

    On 15 October, Dr Ken Dashiell, IITADeputy Director General, Partnershipsand Capacity Development, kicked off theSouthern Africa Research-for-DevelopmentSeminar Series, appealing to Zambianpartners to tap IITAs expertise to reinforcethe capacity of national agricultural researchinstitutions to help Zambias agriculturesector reach its full potential.

    Dr Dashiell aired this message during hisseminar-presentation titled The Universityof Zambia (UNZA), Zambia AgricultureResearch Institute (ZARI), and IITA: Apartnership to develop agricultural solutionsto hunger and poverty in Zambia, whichwas held at the Omnia Lecture Hall 2 of theSchool of Agriculture of UNZA in Lusaka.More than 60 participants comprisingof students, staff, and representativesfrom UNZA, ZARI, IITA, government,and private seed companies attended theseminar.

    During the seminar, the DDG also laidout IITAs plans to expand its capacitydeveleopment and partnership efforts inSouthern Africa. This includes increasingthe number of students being trained byits scientists in the region, developing newagriculture-related training areas gearedtowards people with little or no formaleducation, linking with rural and urbanschools to help them develop appropriateagriculture curriculum, and conductingtraining of youths to empower them to beagri-entrepreneurs.

    He also emphasized the three essential

    components for these efforts to createimpact. He said, We need to mainstream

    I would also like to laud this collaborativeSouthern Africa R4D Seminar Series.This initiative will denitely become acenterpiece platform for UNZA, ZARI,and IITA to exchange and share expertiseand information in the eld of agriculturalresearch and entice future agriculturalresearchers and scientists. I am condentthat we will have more partners on boardas this seminar series rolls on, Dr Dashiellemphasized.

    Dr Mick Mwala, Dean of UNZAs Schoolof Agriculture, shared the DDGs views,saying that on the part of UNZA, we willdenitely be calling on IITA for support, notonly for our students but also for our facultyand staff. I thank IITA-Zambia for havingsome of our students under its scientistswings, but I am also looking forward to

    seeing more being trained by IITA in thefuture.

    Dr Ken Dashiell during his seminar presentation at UNZA in Lusaka, Zambia.

    gender in research and dissemination,develop appropriate capacities, and upscaletechnologies.

    Denitely, IITA cannot do this alone.Therefore, I would like to highlight theimportance of the partnership that we have

    with UNZA, ZARI, the private sector, andthe government of Zambia. Together wewould be able to achieve our commonvision of reducing poverty and improvingfood security not only for Zambia and theSouthern Africa region, but more so for theentire continent, he added.

    And with the establishment of ourSouthern Africa Research andAdministration Hub (SARAH) facilities ayear from now, we would be able to moreeffectively deliver our R4D mandate in thecountry and in the region, Dr Dashiell said.

    IITA-Zambia broke ground for SARAH on12 September.

    Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chie Emeka Anyaoku,

    impressed with IITAs work

    In his rst visit to IITA, the formerCommonwealth Secretary-General, ChiefEmeka Anyaoku, said he was impressedwith the research being done at IITA andthe maintenance of the campus.

    Chief Anyaoku was attending the thirdInternational Conference on Africas

    Indigenous Stimulants (ICAIS-31),organized by the Oyo State Ministry ofTrade and Investment, in Ibadan, butdecided to drop by IITA. He met withthe Deputy-Director General, CorporateServices, Kwame Akuffo-Akoto and IITADirector, Western Africa, Dr Robert Asiedu.

    DDG Akuffo-Akoto and Dr Asieduexplained the Institutes vision, highlightingthe importance of IITA to global foodsecurity.

    The work you are doing is importantand I must commend you, the formersecretary-general said.

    During the tour of the campus, ChiefAnyaoku, accompanied by the HighCommissioner, High Commission of theRepublic of Trinidad and Tobago, MrNyahuma Mentuhotep Obika, and the

    Commissioner for Agriculture for Kogi statein Nigeria, Dr Olufemi Bolarin, spent sometime at the Genetic Resources Center.

    Dr Michael Abberton, Head of the GRC,explained the benet of the genebank toresearch and food security. He likened

    the genebank to a nancial bank andits importance in the conservation ofbiodiversity.

    The commissioner for agriculturecommended IITA for its work on improving

    the productivity of Africas key staple crops.In particular, he recalled that improvedvarieties from the Institute were improvingthe productivity of cassava in his state, andthat most of those varieties helped farmersto tackle pests and diseases challenging

    cassava production in his area.Chief Anyaokus contact with IITA

    was facilitated by the Head of ResourceMobilization and External Relations, MrsToyin Oke.

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    page 3IITA Bulletin 2195

    At armers eld day, IITA unveils maize varieties to tackle Striga

    Afarmers eld day organised by theMaize Improvement Prog