12) Nigerian Minister of Agriculture Akinwumi Adesina named ICRISAT Ambassador of Goodwill

Dr Akinwumi Adesina (right), Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Republic of Nigeria receiving the ICRISAT  Ambassador of Goodwill plaque from  Dr William Dar, ICRISAT Director General.  Photo credit: ICRISAT

Abuja, Nigeria and Hyderabad, India (25 February 2014) – The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has named Dr Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as its Ambassador of Goodwill.

The Ambassador of Goodwill plaque of recognition was presented by Dr William Dar, Director General, ICRISAT during the launch of the groundnut value chain project in Abuja, Nigeria yesterday. The project is a partnership initiative between the Federal Government of Nigeria and ICRISAT aiming to rebuild Nigeria’s groundnut pyramids and to reclaim the country’s former prime position as the largest groundnut producing country in Africa.

“The main objective of the groundnut value chain transformation project is to rebuild Nigeria’s groundnut pyramids and drive the development of the groundnut subsector in the country in conjunction with stakeholders to improve production, processing, marketing and export,” said Minister Adesina.

The groundnut value chain project will produce an additional 120,000 metric tons of groundnut grains valued at 155 million US dollars, to be supplied to small-, medium- and large-scale processors, to be implemented directly in 16 states in Nigeria. It will collaborate to develop high quality rosette- and aflatoxin-resistant groundnut varieties and seed supply systems, and improve market linkages locally and abroad. Strategies to reduce transaction cost and appropriate policies that promote rural enterprises for sustained production and processing in the major groundnut growing states and building of capacities of farmers and national organizations will also be pursued.

Minister Adesina was named as ICRISAT’s Ambassador of Goodwill for his vision and leadership in the agricultural transformation of Nigerian agriculture and his valuable achievements in the field of agricultural research for development in Africa. “ICRISAT is the world’s leading center for research on groundnut and sorghum and they are here in Nigeria to supports our efforts on sorghum and groundnut transformation,” he added.

ICRISAT Director General Dr Dar emphasized the importance of the outstanding partnership between the institution and Nigeria for 38 years now. Nigeria benefited most from ICRISAT’s research for development activities on groundnut, sorghum and pearl millet in Africa.

“ICRISAT will continue to strengthen this very important partnership with Nigeria, in bringing back the groundnut pyramids through a science-based value chain approach which is embedded in its Inclusive Market-Oriented Development (IMOD) strategy,” said Dr Dar.


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