Africa needs skilled manpower to boost agriculture, says CDA Director

September 21st, 2018

From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano

The Director, Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA), Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Prof. Jibrin M. Jibrin on Wednesday stressed the need for skilled manpower in sub-Saharan Africa for the development of advanced technology that can boost agricultural production in the drylands.

Prof. Jibrin who addressed a Press Conference on activities lined up for the third International Conference on Drylands to be hosted by CDA between September 24 and 27, 2018 in BUK, said the Centre is addressing African problems from African perspectives.

He further noted that the biennial international conference on drylands is one of the programmes of the CDA that provides a platform for dissemination of research findings, networking and sharing of experiences between scientists, practitioners and other stakeholders.

Aaccording to him, the theme of the Conference: “Resource Constraints, Conflicts and Changing Climate in the Drylands: Options for Attaining SDGs,” remains apt, “because attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the drylands requires concerted efforts towards addressing myriads of problems related to climate change, high population pressure, and unsustainable land use practices.

“These are the underlining issues that lead to further degradation of land, low agricultural productivity, food and nutrition insecurity, severe poverty, conflicts and civil unrests.”

Prof. Jubrin added that part of issues to be discussed at the Conference include crops and animal improvement for adaptation to climate change; crop-livestock integration for improved income and food security; integrated soil fertility management in a changing environment; rangeland and pasture development: the future of pastoralism in sub-Saharan Africa; ecosystem, water use and conflicts; application of decision support systems in dryland resource management; millennial and agripreneureship for sustained economic growth; and agricultural financing and politics for sustainable development.

He further stated that, “this year’s conference will bring together scientists, farmers, policy makers, civil society organizations and the private sector from across the globe to examine how the SDGs would be attained in the drylands in the face of resource scarcity, climate change and emerging conflicts.

“The Conference will examine how public policies, research and development programmes will contribute in ensuring food security and attainment of the SDGs. There will also be about 70 paper presentations, a special session on the project ‘Taking Maize Agronomy to Scale in Africa (TAMASA).”

Among those who are expected to speak at the Conference include Dr. Peter Craufurd, Strategic Research Team Leader for Sustainable Intensification in Africa at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT); Bernard Vanlauwe, IITA, Kenya; Mr. Suffyan Koroma, FAO Representative to Nigeria; Raffaello Cervini, Lead Environmental Economist with the World Bank’s Environmental and Natural Resources Global Practice.

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