• Friday, July 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

FUNAAB wins $18.8m on cassava programme from Bill and Melinda Gates foundation

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The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) has won a grant of USD18.8 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to implement the massive cassava production and intervention.

This follows series of academic researches and practical sessions undertaken on agricultural produce, especially cassava, under Cassava: Adding Value for Africa Phase II (C:AVA II).

C:AVA II is a product of intensive research by academics, whose outcome is planned to help immensely in the socio-economic transformation of the affected African countries going by its economic value and is also expected to stimulate employment and produce favourable balance of payment through reduction in the importation of goods into the country.

According to Kolawole Adebayo, the Project Director of C:AVA II and university’s director of grants management, the grant is expected to be administered from the University and will increase the incomes of at least, 200,000 small-holder farmers and community processors that are participating in the cassava programme, including Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi.

Adebayo said that the project would be implemented by a team of world-class experts that have gained significant and joint experience in cassava value-chain development since 2008, adding that the project which was expected to cover a period of five years would also improve productivity and income of small-holder farmers, especially women by empowering them.

He noted a number of partners that includes the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan; Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Food and Research Institute, Ghana; Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre; African Innovation Institute, Uganda and the Chancellor College, University of Malawi would provide support and technical assistance so as to achieve the objectives of C:AVA II.

Making his remark, Olusola Oyewole, the Vice-Chancellor of the University congratulated the entire C:AVA family on the $18.8 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s grant, saying: “let me assure you of the readiness of the university to make great success of this feat. It is time to get to work.”

RAZAQ AYINLA