Home » AATF assures continuous promotion of agric innovations
Africa Environment Featured Natural Resources News Science West Africa

AATF assures continuous promotion of agric innovations


The African Agricultural Technology Foundation, AATF, weekend, assured of continuous promotion of agricultural innovations to through public-private partnerships to boost food production in the continent.

The assurance was made by the Director, Programme Development and Commercialization, AATF, Dr Emmanuel Okogbenin, in a statement signed by the Communication Offer (West and Central Africa), Alex Abutu.

Okogbenin also reiterated AATF’s commitment on its promise of transforming farmers’ livelihood through innovative agricultural technologies that will improve incomes, food, and nutrition security in sub-Sharan Africa.

He made the commitment during the training programme in Kaduna organized to equip seed companies with necessary skills on dry season cowpea production.

According the statement as quoting him as saying, AATF will continue to promote agricultural innovation through public-private partnerships and advised the seed companies to take advantage of dry season production to complement wet season production which will ensure adequate supply of PBR cowpea seed to farmers.

He also noted that farmers have been educated on the benefits of the product and they are waiting anxiously for more certified PBR cowpea seed from seed companies.

Meanwhile, he (Okogbenin) expressed appreciation to Institute for Agricultural Research, IAR, for the collaboration which produced the PBR cowpea.

According to the Executive Director, IAR, Zaria, Prof Ishiyaku Mohammed, Nigeria is Africa’s reference point in biotechnology products, while, lauding the collaboration IAR had with AATF that gotten into fruition that brought about the development and release of Nigeria’s first genetically modified crop.

“Nigeria is now a reference point in areas of biotechnology products in Africa and we must continue to scale up production of this technology to make it available to farmers.

“The Pod Borer Resistant Cowpea is a classic example of how technology can provide solutions to one of the major challenges confronting cowpea farming”, Mohammed said.

He also recalled how plant breeders over the years had putting effort but to no avail in preventing ravaging attacks of Maruca but the “collaboration between AATF and IAR led to the development of this great technology.”

He pointed out that seed companies were pivotal to the commercialization of the PBR cowpea project and there is need for constant capacity building.

“The PBR cowpea is a huge success in the biotechnology space in Nigeria and more seed companies are eager to take up the product. There are testimonies from farmers in terms of high yield, resistance to pod borer, improved income because of planting the PBR cowpea”, he said.

Meanwhile, he charged participants to fully take advantage of the training which will build their capacity in PBR seed production, and added that participants should not hesitate to contact AATF/IAR for further questions and clarifications.

All the nine seed companies licensed to market the PBR cowpea were in attendance for the training, where Regional Energy Advisor, United States African Development Foundation, Dr Seydou Traore, made important presentation, and amongst others.

Source : Vanguard