Obafemi Awolowo University Hosts West Africa Hub for Feed the Horticulture Innovation Project

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Obafemi Awolowo University Hosts West Africa Hub for Feed the Horticulture Innovation Project

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, recently welcomed Dr. Naalamle Amissah and Dr. Freda Asem, regional manager and coordinator respectively of the West Africa Hub, as part of a monitoring and evaluation exercise for the Feed the Horticulture Innovation Project. This project, titled “Youths’ Participation in the Production of Indigenous Vegetables and Fruits (IVs&Fs) Using Climate-Smart Approaches Leveraging Locally Available Resources,” is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and managed by the University of California (UC) Horticulture Innovation Lab in collaboration with Utah State University (USU).

The 42-month project aims to build the capacity of youth, with a focus on gender inclusion, in secondary schools and out-of-school settings, teaching innovative techniques for the value chain of indigenous vegetables and fruits. Additionally, five students (four from OAU and one from USU) have been granted full scholarships for master’s and PhD programs.

The team arrived in Nigeria on May 20th, 2024, and was warmly welcomed by the project Principal Investigator, Dr. Atanda S. Oladejo, and his in-country Co-PIs: Drs. Cornellius Atere, Victoria Tanimonure, and Michael Awoleye. The out-country Co-PIs, Drs. Idowu and Abiodun Atoloye of Utah State University, joined virtually.

The team paid a courtesy visit to the University Administration, where they were received by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. (Mrs) Olubola Babalola, representing the Vice-Chancellor, along with other university officials. Prof. Babalola expressed her joy and the Vice-Chancellor’s support for the ongoing project, emphasizing OAU’s commitment to nurturing the relationship with the project sponsors and management beyond the project’s lifespan to foster sustainable collaboration in research and development across West Africa and Africa.

Drs. Amissah and Asem appreciated the administration’s efforts and support and urged for timely access to project funds to ensure the achievement of project objectives. Prof. Babalola assured them of the management’s commitment to the smooth running of the project.

The team also visited the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Professor A.A. Tijani, and several department heads, including Prof. Opabode of the Crop Production and Protection Department. They inspected the project office, seed science lab, soil microbiology lab, and a newly constructed screenhouse at the OAU Teaching and Research Farm.

A meeting with project partners was held to discuss progress and the way forward, and visits to various project sites, including seed and soil laboratories and screenhouses, were conducted

Follow us for more updates on this exciting project – made possible with funding from the @University of California, Davis-based @Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, as part of the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. Read more about this project on the project webpage: Here https://horticulture.ucdavis.edu/project/increasing-youth-participation-production-indigenous-vegetables-and-fruits-using-climate

 #Horticulture #Nigeria #Climate-smartApproaches #Youth”