L-R: Drs. Ylva (IITA), Imoh (NAEC) and Amha
Officials of the nuclear energy watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) paid a courtesy visit to IITA in Ibadan on Tuesday to explore areas of possible collaboration.
During the visit, Dr Mulugeta Amha, Section Head, Division for Africa, Department of Technical Cooperation for IAEA; and Dr Imoh Obioh, Commissioner International Cooperation & Liaison Directorate for NAEC, held discussions with Dr Ylva Hillbur, IITA Deputy Director General (Research).
Areas of interest to the team included plant breeding, micronutrients analysis, soil-water nutrient studies, extension of shelf life of crops using nuclear technologies, postharvest technologies and also capacity development. More areas of collaboration may come up when interactions with the organizations advance. Crops of interest to IAEA and NAEC include cassava and yam.
Dr Amha who was impressed with the visit said his organization had been working on yam and cassava with the Nigerian government, stressing that research could help tackle most of the challenges to global food production.
Dr Obioh on the other hand noted that the spiraling population and climate change were a wakeup call for Nigeria to pay greater attention to agriculture. He promised to strike collaborative efforts with IITA with a view to applying nuclear science in food security.
The two institutions – IITA and NAEC— agreed to move further by considering the signing of an MoU that will define mutual activities for the future.
Dr Hillbur expressed IITA’s willingness to work with IAEA and NAEC to improve the fortunes of farmers and consumers. END
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