Food Security: AATF Hands Over Upgraded Green House  Equipped With Cutting Edge Technology To IAR

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*Facility ensures all-year-round seed production

By;  SANI ALIYU, Zaria 

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) has handed over  the newly upgraded greenhouse facility, equipped with cutting-edge technology aimed at revolutionizing seed  storage and production and other facilities to Institute For Agricultural Research (IAR) under the PBR Cowpea Seed Project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Director  Programme Development and Commercialisation, Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin said  unveiling  the facility is representing not only a physical structure, but also a symbol of their commitment to innovation and progress in agriculture. 

Dr. Okogbenin also said the upgraded greenhouse, powered by a robust 100KVA solar system, stands as a testament to their dedication to harnessing renewable energy sources for the betterment of agricultural practices. 

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,” he said.

According to him, “this  facility, will ensure optimal conditions for seed preservation, safeguarding the genetic integrity of our agricultural heritage”. 

The Director said their vision extends 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 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.

” | 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, the Executive Director Institute For Agricultural Research (IAR) Professor Ado Yusuf said, AATF has been in partnership with the institute for over two decades with full support.

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

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

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