Multidisciplinary team from NCRI visits IITA Ibadan
The team led by Dr Aliyu Umar, Executive Director of NCRI Badeggi, included Dr Bakare Samuel, Head of Research Operations; Dr A.B. Umaru, Head of Soybean Program, and Shaahu Aondover, Soybean Breeder. Dr Uwala Ayodele, President of Nigeria Soybean Association, was also present.
NCRI is strategic to the Nigerian economy because of its mandate crops, such as rice, sugarcane, soybean, and castor seed, and the farming system within the central local zone of Nigeria. Due to the prominence the Federal Government accords agriculture in Nigeria, there is high expectation on NCRI. The Institute believes very strongly in partnership and networking.
Umar said that NCRI wishes to consolidate its link with IITA as national research centers always look up to international partners for assistance especially in the area of capacity building. He said, “We hope to explore possibilities of getting NCRI staff trained in IITA, especially in research and production.” The present leadership of NCRI believes that being more focused will help the Institute meet up with the high expectation on them and as a result, decided to reach out to its collaborators both at the national and international levels.
Michael Abberton, Head of the Genetic Resources Center, IITA, representing Ntyeranya Sanginga, Director General, said the facilities of IITA are open to its partners as the Institute also believes in partnership and networking. He made it clear that there would not be any problem or restrictions about getting materials but there might be limitations in terms of quantity especially from the gene bank.
He further said that IITA’s Capacity Development Office does not have as much funds as it used to have but still, a lot of effort is put in to connect with national programs and engage in capacity development training. He said that training will not be totally free due to restraints on IITA resources, but the cost can be minimized.
“NCRI is very secure and always open to assist IITA in the evaluation of multilocational varieties,” noted Umar. In relation to this, Abberton said, “Some of the varieties IITA plans to promote are those developed in collaboration with NCRI. These varieties are available but not pure, consequently, the Institute looks forward to improving on them with NCRI’s cooperation.”
Concluding, Christian Fatokun, cowpea breeder, noted, “When opportunity presents itself, IITA is open to all forms of collaboration.”