Humidtropics is all about people

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“When I first came to IITA about 30 years ago, I was part of the team developing the early farming systems concept and that was when much work was done in the villages outside IITA. This development-oriented on-farm research was a context in which we were doing our work in the fields because we found it necessary to have a … Read More

Get up, stand up – Africa RISING

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“Having grown up on a farm in a very rural part of Colorado, I naturally had a lot of interest in agriculture. Living in an area where we had problems with soil erosion and water management, I was keen on learning more about the solutions to agricultural problems”. Today Jerry Glover is the Senior Sustainable Agricultural Systems Advisor with USAID, … Read More

Going bananas

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“Eve did not give an apple to Adam but a banana” — says Rony Swennen, a world-leading banana breeder, although he considers himself simply a banana lover. “Banana was one of the first crops domesticated by people, and improved drastically over time thanks to farmers all over the world. I started getting interested in banana in 1979 by working at … Read More

Improving tissue culture technologies for plant survival

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‘‘The potential of temporary immersion bioreactors (TIB) in meeting crop production demands is high and we just stand and its beginning,” says Morufat Balogun, a Tissue Culture Specialist at IITA, working in the Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA) project. “My role in the project is to optimize TIBs for production of yam seed, which … Read More

Sustainable soil inputs

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“On-farm trails performed in 2013 show that between 30 and 50% of the crop lands are non-responsive to inorganic fertilizer inputs,” says Dries Roobroeck (above, right), a postdoctoral fellow on soil fertility management based in IITA, Nairobi, Kenya. “I work on a project concerning the ‘non-responsiveness’ of maize and soybean cropping systems to inorganic fertilizer inputs, which aligns with the … Read More

Cowpea collection for our children

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“In the IITA Genetic Resource Center (GRC) we hold the world’s largest collection of cowpea, the most important food legume in West and Central Africa,” says Badara Gueye, a cell biologist and physiologist. He manages the in vitro genebank and lab of GRC. “Our genebank maintains this collection in trust for the world, our children, and the children of our … Read More

Tiny deadly insects

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“Whiteflies are one of the top 10 most serious pests that threaten agriculture”, says James Legg, a plant virologist at IITA with more than 20 years experience of working on plant viruses and their insect vectors. James has developed a passion for developing knowledge products in various new media formats, including video and mobile phones. “I like to communicate with … Read More

Forging the ‘chains’ of development

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“Cassava, maize, rice, and wheat! Voilà!” Chrys Akem is referring to the crops the African Development Bank-funded Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC) project ideals with. Chrys is the SARD-SC-project coordinator with many years of experience in breeding and disease control of many crops, fruits, and legumes. “In a nutshell, SARD-SC aims to improve … Read More

Changing climate change with farmers

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‘‘We cannot work with farmers on the causes of climate change but we can work with them on changing some of its impact,” says Laurence Jassogne, Systems Agronomist based at IITA-Uganda and coordinator of a project that is looking at synergies in climate change adaptation and mitigation in coffee and cocoa systems. “There are not many farmers in the areas … Read More

In diet diversity we trust

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“The price of meat, milk, and eggs—this is what most farmers complain about. They are just too expensive for poor farmers,” says Isabel Madzorera, Food Nutritionist based at IITA-Zambia and working with the Making Agricultural Innovations Work for Smallholder Farmers Affected by HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa (MIRACLE) project. MIRACLE covers Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Swaziland. “Farmers do know that they … Read More