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IAR gets better greenhouse facility for seed storage, production

The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, has received the newly upgraded greenhouse facility for better seed storage and production. The…

The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, has received the newly upgraded greenhouse facility for better seed storage and production.

The facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology to meet with modern storage and production demand of the century, under the PBR Cowpea Seed Project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

Handing over the facility to the institute, Dr Emmanuel Okogbenin, the Director, Programme Development and Commercialisation, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), said unveiling the facility was representing not only a physical structure, but also a symbol of commitment to innovation and progress in agriculture.

“The upgraded greenhouse, powered by a robust 100KVA solar system, stands as a testament to our dedication to harnessing renewable energy sources for the betterment of agricultural practices.

“Also integrated within the facility are cooling units and a 30KVA solar-powered cold storage facility.

“These, in addition, are not merely amenities but crucial components in our quest to preserve the quality and viability of PBR cowpea nucleus, breeder and foundation seeds during storage.

“This facility will ensure optimal conditions for seed preservation, safeguarding the genetic integrity of our agricultural heritage,” he explained.

Dr Okogbenin said their vision extended beyond mere preservation;,encompassing the enhancement of seed quality and productivity; hence, alongside the greenhouse upgrades with installed solar system powered irrigation facilities covering two hectares of land.

“This strategic initiative ensures all-year-round seed production, empowering our researchers and by implication, farmers with the tools needed to meet the growing demands of a dynamic agricultural landscape.

“This achievement would not have been possible without the collective efforts and unwavering support of various stakeholders.

“I, therefore, extend my heartfelt appreciation to our funding partners, BMGF whose generosity has made this project a reality,” he added.

He commended the dedication and expertise of the researchers and technicians, whose tireless efforts have transformed vision into tangible success.

“As we embark on this new chapter, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to sustainable agriculture. Let this upgraded facilities serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration, guiding us towards a future, where food security is not just a dream but a reality for all,” he prayed.

In his remarks, Prof Ado Yusuf, the executive director of the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Samaru, Zaria said the AATF had been in partnership with the institute for over two decades with full support.

He said having critical facilities from the AATF would assist its researchers to conduct their activities within a short period of time.

Speaking on the cooling facilities, Prof Yusuf expressed satisfaction and assured the donor that the institute would use it judiciously.

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