News from CORAF

AATF Pays Tribute to Its Departing Director and Welcomes Dr. Canisius Kanangire

  • After close to ten years, the Executive Director of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Dr. Denis Tumwesigye Kyetere, takes a deserved retirement.
  • Dr. Canisius Kanangire, previously of theAfrican Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), takes over as the Executive Director of AATF.
  • Founded in 2003, ATTF primarily works to provide farmers in Sub Sahara Africa with practical technology solutions capable of addressing their farm productivity constraints and improving their livelihoods.

Ten New Seed Varieties to Boost Productivity in Niger

New seed varieties have been homologated and registered in the national catalog of plant species and varieties in Niger.

The approval and registration of the ten varieties of rice, sorghum, and peanut were endorsed by a Ministerial in early June 2021.

“These findings are the result of Nigerien researchers working towards finding adequate solutions to the challenges of Nigerian agriculture,” according to Dr. Garba Yahaya, Director General of Agriculture of Niger.

Africa’s R&D Losses an Illustrious Scientists, Prof. Claude Adandedjan

One of Africa’s prominent scientists has died. Prof. Claude Adandedjan of Benin passed away on August 20, 2021, in his native Benin from the COVID-19 virus. 

Prof. Adandedjan, who earned a Ph.D. from the College of Agriculture and Forestry at West Virginia University in the US in 1985, served his country and continent in multiple capacities. In his close to 30 years career in Benin’s foremost public university (Abomey Calavi), he rose from research assistant, lecturer to Dean of the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences in 1997 – a position he held until 2001.

ECOWAS Steps Up Efforts to Make West Africa Rice Self-Sufficient by 2025

Demand for rice surpasses supply in most West African countries, forcing countries to import to make up for the deficit. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), its Member States, and partners are determined to reverse this unsustainable trend by growing enough rice regionally to feed the expanding population and meet the increasing demand.

A Ghanaian Center at the Service of West African Root & Tuber Innovations

  • The Kumasi-based Crop Research Institute has one of the best research infrastructures in the region, thanks to the support of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP);
  • Using cutting-edge technologies, it provides farmers with crop varieties that meet the current agricultural challenges;
  • In terms of research focus, roots and tubers are its main fields.

His Ph.D was the Defining Moment in His Career 

43-years old Harry Okyere Ghanian researcher has seen his fortunes change significantly since he obtained his Ph.D. thanks to funding from the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP). During the WAAPP, more than 1000 were trained across West Africa, producing probably the largest cohort of next-generation scientists in West Africa.

WAAPP Boosts Yam Breeding Program in Ghana

Launched in the 1970s, the Yam Improvement Program did not get any meaningful traction until recently. Thanks to the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program (WAAPP) interventions, the yam sector in Ghana experienced a considerable boost between 2008 and 2018.

“We witnessed the best moments of our yam improvement program during the implementation of the WAAPP between 2008 and 2017,” says Prof. Emmanuel Otoo, Head of Researchers at the Crop Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Taro Industry in Ghana Bounces Thanks to Research

While the taro industry had collapsed entirely in Ghana, researchers of the Crop Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have succeeded in reviving it by developing new taro varieties that meet the industry’s current challenges. 

Those are four new varieties that offer high yields and are incredibly resistant to taro leaf blight —scientifically known as phytophthora colocasia. This is a highly infectious disease responsible for the extinction of the crop.

Roots and Tubers Center of Excellence in Need of Support to Operate its USD .5 Million DNA Analyzer

  • The center acquired the latest generation DNA analyzer thanks to the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program;
  • Since its acquisition in 2015, it has not been able to use it, due to lack of resources and expertise;
  • Its use will generate income for the institute and will benefit the sub-region.

Few research institutions in Ghana and West Africa have a DNA analyzer because of the sometimes prohibitive cost. A modern one is estimated to cost approximately half a million USD.

Millet-based diet can lower risk of type 2 diabetes and help manage blood glucose levels

A new study has shown that eating millets can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and helps manage blood glucose levels in people with diabetes, indicating the potential to design appropriate meals with millets for diabetic and pre-diabetic people as well as for non-diabetic people as a preventive approach.