International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture
Ibadan, Nigeria

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture, with the ultimate goals of reducing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. IITA's research-for-development focuses on addressing the development needs of tropical countries. The institute was established in 1967 and is headquartered in Ibadan, Nigeria, with several research stations across Africa. IITA is a nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Trustees, supported by several countries and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research . Wikipedia.

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Tambo J.A.,University of Bonn | Abdoulaye T.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2013

The savanna region of Africa is a potential breadbasket of the continent but is severely affected by climate change. Understanding farmers' perceptions of climate change and the types of adjustments they have made in their farming practices in response to these changes will offer some insights into necessary interventions to ensure a successful adaptation in the region. This paper explores how smallholder farmers in the Nigerian savanna perceive and adapt to climate change. It is based on a field survey carried out among 200 smallholder farm households selected from two agro-ecological zones. The results show that most of the farmers have noticed changes in climate and have consequently adjusted their farming practices to adapt. There are no large differences in the adaptation practices across the region, but farmers in Sudan savanna agro-ecological zone are more likely to adapt to changes in temperature than those in northern Guinea savanna. The main adaptation methods include varying planting dates, use of drought tolerant and early maturing varieties and tree planting. Some of the farmers are facing limitations in adapting because of lack of information on climate change and the suitable adaptation measures and lack of credit. The study then concludes that to ensure successful adaptation to climate change in the region, concerted efforts are needed to design and promote planned adaptation measures that fit into the local context and also to educate farmers on climate change and appropriate adaptation measures. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Badu-Apraku B.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture
Crop Science | Year: 2010

Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth threatens maize (Zea mays L.) production in sub-Saharan Africa. In an extra-early population, S1 families derived from four cycles of recurrent selection for grain yield and Striga resistance were evaluated with and without Striga infestation at three locations in Nigeria for 2 yr to determine relative changes in genetic variances, heritabilities, and genetic correlations for yield and other traits. Under infestation, yield was not correlated with other traits at C0 but was signifi cantly correlated with ears per plant (EPP), Striga damage, and emerged Striga plants in advanced cycles. Genetic correlations between yield and most traits were signifi cant in C0 when Striga-free but was reduced in advanced cycles. Genetic variances and heritabilities for yield and ear aspect increased in advanced cycles. Emerged Striga counts, EPP, and days to silk increased under infestation. A response to selection for improved yield, Striga emergence and EPP is expected in subsequent cycles. Low genetic variances and heritabilities for Striga damage and low predicted gain cycle-1 for all traits except numbers of emerged Striga plants suggest a need to introgress novel resistance genes into the population for faster progress from selection for increased yield. © Crop Science Society of America.

Beed F.D.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture
Food Security | Year: 2014

Global crop production needs to double by 2050 in order to meet demands from rising populations, diet shifts and biofuels. Production must increase through more efficient use of currently available arable land to prevent encroachment on land that otherwise provides vital services to the earth and its people (i.e. through increased biodiversity and reduced carbon emissions). Significant improvements can be realised through enhanced management of critical diseases of crops that are pivotal to food security and income generation. To achieve this, the dynamic and complex interactions between crops and beneficial or antagonistic organisms that characterise the biological environment, must be understood. For Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) a crop healthcare system is required that encompasses national responsibility and regional cooperation, and which harnesses global excellence in terms of the knowledge and methods that are available for implementation. This system would be able to control crop diseases in a pre-emptive and cost efficient manner and avoid the current scenario of belatedly combating largescale epidemics. Components would include: risk assessment to predict impacts on food and feed value chains; targeted surveillance; fit-for-purpose diagnostics; control intervention packages; extension mechanisms; and enabling policy environments. Each component would be refined, based on practical feedback and results from research targeted to address knowledge gaps. Specific examples are presented for viruses of cassava, viral and bacterial diseases of banana, stem rust of wheat and a new viral disease complex of maize. Finally, the links among disease control and improved crop quality, consumer health and safe trade are discussed through biological control interventions for aflatoxin in SSA. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology.

Badu-Apraku B.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture | Akinwale R.O.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture
Field Crops Research | Year: 2011

Striga hermonthica is a major constraint to maize (Zea mays L.) production in sub-Saharan Africa. The use of secondary traits that have high heritability and genetic correlation with grain yield can improve the precision with which Striga resistant genotypes are identified. Fifteen early cultivars were evaluated under Striga-infested and Striga-free conditions for 2 years at Mokwa and Abuja, Nigeria. The objective was to examine their performance based on multiple traits under stress and non-stress conditions and analyze the interrelationship among traits using genotype-by-trait (GT) biplot so as to assess the value of traits used in the base index for selection for Striga resistance and improved grain yield (YLD). TZE-W DT STR C4 had the best performance based on multiple traits while TZE-W DT STR C4, TZE-Y DT STR C4, Multicob Early DT, and TZE-W DT STR QPM C0 were the closest to the ideal cultivar when Striga infested. Ears per plant, Striga damage at 8 and 10 weeks after planting, and ear aspect (EASP) were the most reliable traits for selecting for resistant genotypes. Striga emergence count at 8 and 10 weeks after planting were not among the reliable traits identified for selection for improved grain yield and their inclusion in the base index needs to be further verified. EASP had high correlation with grain yield and was one of the most reliable traits for selection for increased grain yield under Striga infestation and should be included in the index. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Alene A.D.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture
Agricultural Economics | Year: 2010

This article measures and compares total factor productivity growth in African agriculture under contemporaneous and sequential technology frontiers over the period 1970-2004. The sources of productivity growth are examined using a fixed-effects regression model and a polynomial distributed lag structure for agricultural R&D expenditures. While conventional estimates show an average productivity growth rate of only 0.3% per year, the improved measures under sequential technology show that African agricultural productivity grew at a higher rate of 1.8% per year. Technical progress, rather than efficiency change, was the principal source of productivity growth. Agricultural R&D, weather, and trade reforms turned out to have significant effects on productivity in African agriculture. With a rate of return of 33% per year, R&D is shown to be a socially profitable investment in African agriculture. While a strong R&D expenditure growth of about 2% per year in the 1970s led to strong productivity growth after the mid 1980s, stagnation of R&D expenditure in the 1980s and early 1990s led to slower productivity growth in the 2000s. Consistent with recent economic recovery in Africa evidenced by stronger agricultural GDP growth rates, results showed that policy reforms as well as improved weather contributed to the recovery of agricultural productivity after the mid 1980s. © 2010 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

Wendt J.W.,International Fertilizer Development Center | Hauser S.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture
European Journal of Soil Science | Year: 2013

Soil carbon stocks are commonly quantified at fixed depths as the product of soil bulk density, depth and organic carbon (OC) concentration. However, this method systematically overestimates OC stocks in treatments with greater bulk densities such as minimum tillage, exaggerating their benefits. Its use has compromised estimates of OC change where bulk densities differed between treatments or over time periods. We argue that its use should be discontinued and a considerable body of past research re-evaluated. Accurate OC estimations must be based on quantification in equivalent soil masses (ESMs). The objective of this publication is to encourage accurate quantification of changes in OC stocks and other soil properties using ESM procedures by developing a simple procedure to quantify OC in multiple soil layers. We explain errors inherent in fixed depth procedures and show how these errors are eliminated using ESM methods. We describe a new ESM procedure for calculating OC stocks in multiple soil layers and show that it can be implemented without bulk density sampling, which reduces sampling time and facilitates evaluations at greater depths, where bulk density sampling is difficult. A spreadsheet has been developed to facilitate calculations. A sample adjustment procedure is described to facilitate OC quantification in a single equivalent soil mass layer from the surface, when multiple-layer quantification is not necessary. © 2013 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2013 British Society of Soil Science.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-5-05 | Award Amount: 7.37M | Year: 2009

MYCORED aims at developing strategic solutions to reduce contamination by mycotoxins of major concern in economically important food and feed chains. The following toxins and commodities are especially considered in the project: aflatoxins, trichothecenes, zearalenone, fumonisins in wheat/maize food and feed chains; ochratoxin A in the grape-wine and wheat chains; and aflatoxins in the dried fruit chain. Novel methodologies, efficient handling procedures and information, dissemination and educational strategies are considered in a context of multidisciplinary integration of know-how and technology to reduce mycotoxins exposure worldwide. Five work-packages (WPs) will develop novel solution driven strategies to reduce both pre-and post-harvest contamination in feed and food chains. They involve: i) optimization of plant resistance and fungicide use; ii) biocontrol to reduce toxigenic fungi in cropping systems, iii) predictive modelling and optimise logistics; iv) novel post-harvest and storage practices and v) application of new food processing technologies. Two horizontal WPs will develop enabling methodologies for i) advanced diagnostics and quantitative detection of toxigenic fungi and ii) rapid and multi-toxin detection of mycotoxins and relevant biomarkers. The project will significantly build on the outcome of several European projects (through most coordinators/partners of FP5 and FP6) on mycotoxins by supporting, stimulating and facilitating education and cooperation with countries having major mycotoxin concerns related to (international) trade and human health. The direct involvement of ICPC countries (Argentina, Egypt, Russia, South Africa, Turkey) and international organizations (CIMMYT,IITA) together with strong alliances with major research institutions in the USA (3 USDA Centers/5 Universities), Australia, Malaysia will strengthen the project through sharing experiences and resources from several past/ongoing mycotoxin projects in a global context.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-13-2015 | Award Amount: 6.43M | Year: 2016

MycoKey aims to generate innovative and integrated solutions that will support stakeholders in effective and sustainable mycotoxin management along food and feed chains. The project will contribute to reduce mycotoxin contamination mainly in Europe and China, where frequent and severe mycotoxin contaminations occur in crops, and where international trade of commodities and contaminated batches are increasing. MycoKey will address the major affected crops maize, wheat and barley, their associated toxigenic fungi and related mycotoxins (aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, fumonisins). The project will integrate key information and practical solutions for mycotoxin management into a smart ICT tool (MycoKey App), providing answers to stakeholders, who require rapid, customized forecasting, descriptive information on contamination risk/levels, decision support and practical economically-sound suggestions for intervention. Tools and methodologies will be strategically targeted for cost-effective application in the field and during storage, processing and transportation. Alternative and safe ways to use contaminated batches will be also delivered. The focus of Mycokey will be: i) innovating communications of mycotoxin management by applying ICT, providing input for legislation, enhancing knowledge and networks; ii) selecting and improving a range of tools for mycotoxin monitoring; iii) assessing the use of reliable solutions, sustainable compounds/green technologies in prevention, intervention and remediation. The multi-disciplinary consortium, composed by scientific, industrial and association partners (32), includes 11 Chinese institutions and will conduct the 4 years programme in a framework of international networks.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-2-04 | Award Amount: 7.73M | Year: 2008

Malnutrition, and especially deficiencies of micronutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin A, undermine the progress towards most of the Millennium Development Goals. In view of the serious coverage, compliance and safety concerns of supplementation, this project aims to identify novel staple food-based approaches to improve micronutrient malnutrition for better health and development of women and children in sub-Saharan Africa. It will focus on the improvement of millet-, sorghum-, maize-, and cassava based (complementary) foods. The genetic potential of staple foods for increasing the micronutrient and antinutrient content will be evaluated and the determinants of success and failure of introducing biofortified staple foods in local farming systems will be assessed. The efficacy of biofortified staple foods with adequate levels of provitamin A will be determined. Concerning fortification, the project will develop and test new approaches to optimise iron and zinc fortification of staple food-based foods. The project will develop improved (traditional) processing methods of the staple foods concerned to enhance micronutrient uptake and bioavailability. The developed approaches in the area of biofortification, fortification and processing will be compared on efficacy of improving iron and zinc intake and status. The safety of the improved staple foods on immunity and infections will be evaluated as well as the impact on cognitive development of young children. Through capacity building and strengthening the scientific and technological excellence in the field of staple food-based approaches in Africa and Europe, the project seeks to significantly contribute to the improvement of the dietary quality of young children and their mothers living in resource poor areas in sub-Saharan Africa. New scientific knowledge will be exploited to strengthen the competitiveness of local SMEs targeted at evidence-based production of healthier (complementary) foods for African children.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2008. | Award Amount: 4.77M | Year: 2009

The proposal addresses Topic ENV.2008. Addressing deforestation in tropical areas: greenhouse gas emissions, socio-economic drivers and impacts, and policy options for emissions reduction. The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the development and evaluation of mechanisms and the institutions needed at multiple levels for changing stakeholder behaviour to slow tropical deforestation rates and hence reduce GHG emissions. This will be achieved through enhancing our understanding of the social, cultural, economic and ecological drivers of forest transition in selected case study areas in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America. This understanding will facilitate the identification and assessment of viable policy options addressing the drivers of deforestation and their consistency with policy approaches on avoided deforestation, such as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and degradation (REDD), currently being discussed in UNFCCC and other relevant international fora. At the same time, ways of improving the spatial quantification of land use change and the associated changes in GHG fluxes will be developed, thereby improving the accounting of GHG emissions resulting from land use change in tropical forest margins and peatlands. This will allow the analysis of scenarios of the local impacts of potential international climate change policies on GHG emission reductions, land use, and livelihoods in selected case study areas, the results of which will be used to develop new negotiation support tools for use with stakeholders at international, national and local scales to explore a basket of options for incorporating REDD into post-2012 climate agreements. The project will provide a unique link between international policy-makers and stakeholders on the ground who will be required to change their behaviour regarding deforestation, thereby contributing to well-informed policy-making at the international level.

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