By Adejumo Kabir
An international research consortium which includes Duro Oyedele, a Professor of Soil Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife will receive a total $4,450,000 Million, for a project in partnership with the Osun State University, University of Parakou, Benin, University of Manitoba and University of Saskatchewan, Canada to advance Under-Utilized Indigenous Vegetables (UIVs) in Southwestern Nigeria and Benin Republic.
In Nigeria, more than 1,000 farmers increase their yield and income by using improved farming practices to grow UIVs. These improved farming practices were developed during the field research carried out in Southwestern Nigeria.
In Benin, fertilizer micro-dosing and rain water harvesting techniques also helped more than 10 thousand farmers achieved equally beneficial results with other crops despite degraded soil.
The teams of Nigerian, Beninese and Canadian researchers are now combining these two innovations to bring the farmers’ practices to 50 thousands farmers.
The recommended farming techniques has spread through demonstration trials, outreach efforts, supports and trainings for seed producers and marketers, by establishing local committees to address issues such as productivity and marketing.
Support to indigenous vegetables farming and processing business will increase demand and improved income of 1,000,000 (one million) West African farmers.
The lead research partners include Obafemi Awolowo University led by Professor Durodoluwa Oyedele, Osun State University, University of Parakou, Benin; University of Saskatchewan and University of Manitoba both in Canada.
This project is among the four international projects that have been collectively awarded $17,000,000 (17 Million Dollars) International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada. They are part of an effort to scale up the most promising research supported under IDRC- Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF).
The CIFSRF is a program IDRC, Canada undertaking with financial support of the government of Canadian provided through Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada. The fund support research to increase food security in developing Countries while fostering collaboration between developing-countries researchers and Canadian experts.