The Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) at the Bayero University, Kano (BUK), vigorously pursues excellence through collaboration with national and international partners that are engaged in dryland agriculture and related areas, having recognised the need for collaboration with relevant organisations in achieving its mandate. It has, therefore, built a strong partnership with the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), a major international stakeholder in dryland agriculture.
ICRISAT is an international, non-profit, organisation that undertakes scientific research for development, with focus on drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It has its global headquarters in Hyderabad, India and offices in eight countries in Africa, including Nigeria, where it conducts research in its mandate crops (Chickpea, Pigeon pea, Groundnut, Sorghum, Pearl Millet and Finger millet). The Institute also builds expertise across the value chain of these mandate crops through conservation, analysis, breeding, understanding on-farm management practices, processing and providing agribusiness opportunities. The partnership with the Centre covers execution of various relevant research projects in the drylands of West Africa.
To improve groundnut productivity in Nigeria and also make the crop reclaim its lost glory, CDA has partnered with ICRISAT on two groundnut projects: Tropical Legumes Project III (TL III), which aims at improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers through enhanced grain legume productivity and production in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The project is developing improved groundnut varieties with consumer and market- preferred traits as well as establish sustainable seed production and efficient delivery system to farmers. It is envisaged that large quantities of breeder seeds and several hundred tonnage of foundation, certified and quality declared seeds of improved groundnut varieties would be produced in Nigeria in the next few years. CDA is working with the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and the Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs) of Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi and Katsina States to implement the project.
The second project, entitled, ‘Increasing Groundnut Productivity of Smallholder Farmers in Ghana, Mali and Nigeria’, is a three-year USAID-funded project, in which CDA is collaborating with ICRISAT. The project objectives are to enhance farmers’ knowledge of improved groundnut technologies, including varieties and complementary crop management practices, enhance seed production and marketing at grand scale, enhance farmers’ knowledge on improved aflatoxin management technologies, and enhance farmers’ access to small scale processing technologies. The project is being implemented in the groundnut producing communities of 30 Local Government Areas in Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto States.
Another important joint project between CDA and ICRISAT is titled, ‘Spurring a
Transformation in Agriculture Remote Sensing (STARS)’, which is being executed in conjunction with the National Aerospace Research and Development Agency (NARDA). The project aims to advance the livelihoods of smallholder farmers with the use of the latest remote sensing technologies. The research is currently comparing data from ground surveys, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and satellite imageries.
Besides the completed and the on-going projects, more projects that aim at improving agricultural production in the drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa are being initiated. The partnership was further strengthened by the separate visits of the Director General of the ICRISAT, Dr. David Bergvinson and its Director for Dryland Resilient System Programme, Dr. Anthony Whitbread, to the Centre.