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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.

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. Source

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. Source

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. Source

Probst C.,University of Arizona | Bandyopadhyay R.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture | Cotty P.J.,University of Arizona
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2014

Crops frequently contaminated by aflatoxins are important sources of revenue and daily nourishment in many portions of sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, reports have associated aflatoxins with diminished human health and export opportunities in many African Nations. Aflatoxins are highly carcinogenic metabolites mainly produced by members of Aspergillus sect. Flavi. The current study examined aflatoxin-producing fungi associated with maize grain intended for human consumption in 18 sub-Saharan African countries. 4469 Aspergillus sect. Flavi isolates were obtained from 339 samples. The majority (75%) of isolates belonged to the L strain morphotype of A. flavus. Minor percentages were A. tamarii (6%), A. parasiticus (1%), and isolates with S strain morphology (3%). No A. bombycis or A. nomius isolates were detected. Phylogenetic analyses of partial sequences of the nitrate reductase gene (niaD, 1.3kb) and the aflatoxin pathway transcription factor gene (aflR, 1.7kb) were used to verify isolate assignments into species and lineages. Phylogenetics resolved S strain isolates producing only B aflatoxins into two lineages fully supported by sizes of deletions in the gene region spanning the aflatoxin biosynthesis genes cypA (aflU) and norB (aflF). One lineage was the A. flavus S strain with either 0.9 or 1.5kb deletions. The second lineage, recently described from Kenya, has a 2.2kb deletion. Taxa with S strain morphology differed in distribution with strain SBG limited to West Africa and both A. minisclerotigenes and the new lineage from Kenya in Central and East Africa. African A. flavus L strain isolates formed a single clade with L strain isolates from other continents. The sampled maize frequently tested positive for aflatoxins (65%), fumonisins (81%), and deoxynivalenol (40%) indicating the presence of fungi capable of producing the respective toxins. Percentage of samples exceeding US limits for total aflatoxins (regulatory limit), fumonisins (advisory limit), and deoxynivalenol (advisory limit) were 47%, 49%, 4%, respectively. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

Tambo J.A.,Copenhagen University | Abdoulaye T.,International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change | Year: 2012

Climate change is a major problem undermining agricultural production in Africa. Consequently, efforts are being made to provide farmers with adaptation technologies, but little empirical research exists on the determinants of adopting such technologies. This article addresses this research gap, using the case of drought tolerant maize (DTM) technology in Nigeria. With survey data from 200 farm households and econometric techniques, we explore the determinants of whether to invest and how much to invest in adaptation technology by smallholder farmers. Results from the study indicate that among the key determinants of adoption are access to the technology, complementary inputs, extension services, and climate change information. We also show that off-farm income and wealth status of a household play a significant role in adoption, implying capital constraints; hence, it can be difficult for resource-poor farmers to adopt the technology. Moreover, the farmers identified cost of the technology and complementary inputs, particularly fertilizer as major constraints to adoption. We conclude that while the DTM technology is suitable and important in helping smallholder maize farmers to continue to produce under a changing climate, more support is needed for them to invest in the technology and overcome adoption constraints. Necessary interventions include improving access to information about climate change and the available adaptation technology, timely access to the technology and complementary inputs, and improving access to credit, particularly for the resource-poor farm households. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

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