WANOART Waxes Stronger

Rep. of the Head, PR, the PPRO (M&E), Mr. Kola Adepoju (Left) presenting a copy of the VC’s MidTerm Review, “My Word, My Bond” to Miss Koura Tatiana while WANOART Coordinator, Prof. Isaac Ayelagbe watches with keen interest.

A Postgraduate student from the Université d’ Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin, Koura Windktépé Tatiana, has arrived the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta for an intensive exchange programme, under the West African Network for Organic Agriculture, Research and Training (WANOART).

 

Miss Koura was received on behalf of the University by the Co-ordinator of the Network, which has its secretariat in FUNAAB, Professor Isaac Ayelagbe, who also led her to the Directorate of Public Relations, for a chat with FUNAAB Bulletin.

Prof. Ayelagbe said Miss Koura, “will be here for eight weeks to research into the intensification of the use of indigenous vegetables, with the purpose of rescuing our local vegetables from extinction”.

“She’s doing a study on how to grow the indigenous vegetables and to manage them, to become productive. She will be my guest and that of the University because the Secretariat of the Network is in FUNAAB”, the Coordinator added.

Prof. Ayelagbe disclosed that just as the University was receiving Miss Koura from Universities d’ Abomey-Calavi, Benin Republic, “we are also sending students to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana and Njala University, Sierra Leone, under the exchange programme”.

Providing insight into the activities of the Network, the former Director of FUNAAB’s Research and Development Centre (RESDEC), now Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), said it is a regional initiative that involved five Universities in West Africa and one European institution, that are project partners.

The Universities are the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB); Université d’ Abomey-Calavi, Benin Republic; University of Cape Coast, Ghana; Kwame Nkrumah University, Ghana; Njala University, Sierra Leone and Coventry University, United Kingdom.

According to the Coordinator, the overall aim of the project is to increase the level of expertise and synergy in all aspects of Organic Agriculture in West Africa, to make the region less dependent on developed countries.

Prof. Ayelagbe informed that the participation of Sub-Saharan African nations in organic agriculture was relatively recent, adding that countries like Kenya, South Africa and Uganda had made rapid progress in entering the international market, while many West African countries were still lacking the relevant expertise.

The University don said WANOART was established, to address the observed deficiencies by training graduates, farmers, extension officers and civil society organisations in Organic Agriculture.

He explained that “the strategy is to work within the universities, because they are the institutions that generate manpower for policy transformation, interpretation and implementation”.

Prof. Ayelagbe pointed out that “there is a big international business from which partner countries can benefit and use to address unemployment, improve livelihood, food security and environmental protection”.

Miss Koura, while commenting on her coming to FUNAAB, said she looked forward to a pleasant stay because Nigerians are hospitable.

She lauded the aesthetics of FUNAAB campus, promising that as a good mixer, she would make friends among students and members of staff.

 

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