The Consul General of the US Embassy in Nigeria, Dr Brian Browne and the Agricultural Attache at the Embassy, Mr Ali Abdi paid a courtesy visit to IITA-Ibadan on Friday, 9 June. The team was interested in gathering latest information on the Nigerian Agricultural and Biotechnology Project (NABP), including the status of the work of IITA on transgenic cassava and cowpea. The visitors also wanted to know the progress towards passing the national biosafety legislation by the government of Nigeria.
(From left): Dr Brian Browne, Mr Ali Abdi, and Dr Rabe Mani, Biotech Outreach Officer, with Dr Dixon at the Cassava Processing Center. Photo: Abayomi Okee
They were received by Dr Alfred Dixon, cassava breeder, on behalf of DG Hartmann. Dr Dixon made a presentation on IITA’s intervention on the development of the rapidly growing cassava industry in Nigeria, while Dr Inglebrecht spoke on the current position of biotechnology research at IITA. Dr Fatokun’s presentation was on genetic engineering of cassava against the devastating mosaic disease (CMD), and the development of bioengineered cowpea resistant to certain insect pests.
The US Mission delegation was later conducted on a tour of the cassava processing center where they saw various dryers developed by IITA in collaboration with the Cassava Equipment Fabricators Association of Nigeria (CEFAN) for the production of high quality cassava flour in Nigeria. Dr Browne commended IITA scientists for their dedication and well-focused research geared towards ensuring the success of biotechnology application and utilization in Nigeria. He was also happy about the high level of involvement of the Institute in the development of cassava industry in the country.
The US Mission team: (From left): Ali Abdi and Dr Browne with Dr Dixon admire a solar dryer panel at the cassava processing center. Photo: Abayomi Oke
Several cassava processing centers are being established by IITA where entrepreneurs are trained in the production of high quality cassava flour to meet the demands of flour mills.