International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Visit
JIRCAS-IITA collaborative program “Evaluation and Utilization of Diverse Genetic Materials in Tropical Crops (EDITS)”, which aims to contribute to food security, has been conducted in Nigeria. Recently, researchers from JIRCAS visited the IITA. This time, they mainly focused on the cultivation and utilization of Africa traditional crops: yam and cowpea. Yam is a staple food in Western Africa. Although 93% of world yam products come from the Western Africa, the increase in yam supply does not catch up with the demand. Cowpea is one of the major leguminous crops in Western Africa. The statistics show that more than 80% cowpea worldwide are produced and consumed in this region, and cowpea has become the primary source of protein and minerals for poor people in the region. For these reasons, JIRCAS chose these two crops as its research objects, and set up two IITA collaborative projects named “Accelerate Yam’s genetic improvement using advanced genomic and genetic researches” and “Establish development strategy of cowpea for value addition and better utilization”. IITA expressed its great expectations on these two projects and provided active cooperation. The information obtained from the IITA visit is considered to be able to contribute to further researches. During the IITA visit,? various researchers, including not only JIRCAS but also three IITA researchers and students dispatched by Japanese universities, were involved in the projects. Although the public security in Nigeria is not good enough, and research and life outside facilities are not convenient compared to Japan, it was still an unforgettable sight, where researchers collaborated to overcome these problems and worked hard for Africa agriculture development.
- JIRCAS laboratory and research assistants
- Yam field investigation
- Courtesy visit by Director of IITA-Western Africa Hub
- Opinion exchange with Japanese researchers