22.7 C
May 29, 2024

IAR Gets  Upgraded Greenhouse Facility

The Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria has recently received an upgraded greenhouse facility, enhancing seed storage and production capabilities.

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the facility aligns with modern storage and production needs, thanks to the PBR Cowpea Seed Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).

During the handover to the institute, Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, Director of Programme Development and Commercialisation at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), emphasized that unveiling the facility signifies not just a physical structure but also a commitment to agricultural innovation and progress.

“The upgraded greenhouse, powered by a robust 100KVA solar system, stands as a testament to our dedication to harnessing renewable energy sources for the betterment of agricultural practices.

“Also 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.

“This facility will ensure optimal conditions for seed preservation, safeguarding the genetic integrity of our agricultural heritage,” he explained.

Dr Okogbenin said their vision extended 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 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.

“I, therefore, 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 these 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.

During his speech, Prof. Ado Yusuf, the Executive Director of the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) in Samaru, Zaria, highlighted the longstanding partnership of over two decades with full support from the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).

He emphasized that the critical facilities provided by AATF would significantly aid researchers in conducting their activities more efficiently within shorter timeframes. Prof. Yusuf also expressed satisfaction with the cooling facilities and assured the donor that the institute would utilize them responsibly.

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