The Bayero University Kano (BUK) Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA), has said that it recently won a World Bank grant worth $5m to continue trainings and research in agriculture.
The Director of the centre, Professor Jibrin Muhammad Jibrin disclosed this on Wednesday at an open day ceremony to commemorate the centre’s 10 year anniversary in Kano.
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According to him, the centre, which was established by the university in 2012 to serve as regional training hub for the west and central Africa sub-region, has been able to live up to its expectations.
He said, “Back in 2012, the university thought of setting up a centre that do research and training, focused on the problems in the dryland.
“We started with $800,000 MacArthur Foundation grant, and within two years, we were able to win World Bank’s $2m to carry out our activities as a Africa Centre of Excellence.
“And to show that it’s not our own assessment, when the call from World Bank came to establish a third pace of the centres of excellence, we bid and competed and still won another $5m to continue as Africa Centre of Excellence for Development Impact.
“We have trained different students at MSc and PhD levels from 14 different African countries. Our research activities are being also utilised by industries we are partnering with,” Professor Jibrin added.
Part of the CDA’s major breakthroughs in research according to the Director is the recent development of female date palm trees to address the challenge of growing male date trees that do not bear fruits.
“With our tissue culture facility, now, we are able generate with certainty the male or female plant. Based on this, CDA has entered an agreement with government of Jigawa state to supply 100,000 seedlings of date palms, which they are going to distribute to farmers,” the Director added.
Also speaking at the event, Kano state Deputy Governor and Commissioner for Agriculture, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, said in its 10 years since establishment, the centre has achieved a lot and is seen as one of the top centres of excellence, not only in Nigeria, but in Africa.
He said the state has been collaborating with the centre and has recently sent its newly recruited agricultural extension workers to CDA for training.
The Deputy Governor however challenged the centre to come up with researches that will help address the state’s challenges in agriculture to ensure food security.
Daily Trust reports that CDA was established by BUK in 2012 as part of its efforts towards addressing the development challenges of the dryland areas of the sub-region.
Other highlights of the event include virtual tour of CDA farms and products, presentation of awards to outstanding staff, partners and associates of the centre, unveiling of the centre’s new logo as well as presentation of seeds and agricultural equipment to some farmers.