IITA News

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Breeders charged to develop yam varieties responsive to tomorrow’s challenges

In early March, 50 international breeders gathered in Ibadan, Nigeria, for the AfricaYam project’s third annual progress review and planning meeting, which looked at the progress of yam research in West Africa.

Picture of The Zambia IITA Youth Agripreneurs (ZIYA) Program successfully conducted a training course on cassava value addition for 11 ZIYA members―all female―on 6–16 March at the IITA Southern Africa Research and Administration Hub (SARAH) campus in Kabangwe, Lusaka Province. The 11 women came from different youth groups from Kaoma District in Western Province, Monze District in Southern Province, and Serenje and Mkushi districts in Central Province partnering under the ZIYA umbrella. T he training course was conducted with support from the Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC) project. Facilitators included Emmanuel Alamu, Food Scientist; Prisca Chileshe, Postharvest Utilization Research Assistant; Nhamo Nhamo, ZIYA Youth Coordinator; and Jeremiah Hantolo, Zambia SARD-SC Maize Coordinator, all based at IITA-SARAH. The 10-day, hands-on course covered the various steps in preparing cassava-based food products―from root preparation (cleaning, peeling, chipping, and drying) to processing and cooking/ baking. Specifically, the youth were taught how to make confectionary products such as biscuits, chin-chin, fritters, titbits, and cupcakes. At the end of the training, the trainees presented the different food products that they had produced to IITA-Zambia staff as well as to Hilde Koper-Limbourg, Deputy Director General for Corporate Services, who coincidentally was also in Zambia on a familiarization and monitoring trip to the southern Africa Hub. “These are very impressive products that you have prepared,” David Chikoye, IITA Southern Africa Regional Director, said during the presentation by the trainees. “I sincerely hope that you will apply what you’ve learned here―and what you will still learn in the future from ZIYA―in your respective groups when you go back,” he added. “These are really delicious,” added Koper-Limbourg. “I see a really good business opportunity for these products, and a great business venture for the ZIYA youth. You should be proud of yourselves and what you have accomplished here.” Asked what they will do with the knowledge that they gained from this training, Caroline Liwena, ZIYA Youth Chair, who also participated in the course, related that they would also train other members of their respective youth groups. “Apart from echo training, we will also start some small businesses producing and selling these food products. And, of course, start making money,” she proudly added.

Zambia IITA Agripreneurs Program train 11 youth on cassava-based food production

The Zambia IITA Youth Agripreneurs (ZIYA) Program successfully conducted a training course on cassava value addition for 11 ZIYA members―all female―on 6–16 March at the IITA Southern Africa Research and Administration Hub (SARAH) campus in Kabangwe, Lusaka Province.

House of Representatives Eleme Constituency, Rivers State, pledges support to IITA-Onne

Impressed by IITA’s decision to reignite activities at its station in Onne, Honorable Josiah John Olu of Eleme Constituency in the Rivers State House of Representatives, during a courtesy visit to the station on 22 March, pledged to use his office to help upgrade the access road linking the station.

Picture of Visitors went to the Akpome and Hlankpa localities along the river Hlan where natural enemies of the cowpea pod borer were released.

CRP Grain Legumes Director visits IITA-Benin

Shobana Sivasankar, Director of CRP Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals based at ICRISAT, Hyderabad, and the program communication officer Satish Nagaraji, visited IITA-Benin on 18-20 March, to get acquainted with the ongoing efforts towards biological control of cowpea pests in West Africa. The centerpiece of the visit was a field trip to the Ouémé Valley,…

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Picture of Kayode Are explaining the information products produced by IAR&T at the display of materials produced by the various partners during the project.

WASHC project ends; participants share successes

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA—Soil Health Program) funded project—Supporting the West Africa Soil Health Consortia (WASHC), which was initiated to facilitate a wider uptake of better adapted Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) practices with visible positive impacts on rural livelihoods, has officially ended today 31 March 2017.

NextGen Cassava Breeding Project conducts three workshops on Database, Digital Phenotyping, and Experimental Design

The NextGen Cassava Breeding Project conducted a series of training workshops on the use of the breeding database, PhenoApps, and Experimental Design. The three workshops were held at IITA, Ibadan on 13, 17, and 18 March.