US partners Iowa State University on biotech training for Nigerian scientists, others

As part of its commitment to supporting agricultural innovations in the country, the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has entered into a partnership with Iowa State University (ISU) to launch an online training course for 10 Nigerian scientists and regulators.

The goal of the training is to strengthen bilateral ties between the United States and Nigeria and assist policymakers, researchers, and technical experts to understand the role of modern biotechnology in agricultural innovation.

It was said that the training participants would also discover how biotechnological innovations can be adopted with appropriate science and risk-based considerations, especially for seed production and trade.

Counsellor for Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Mission Nigeria, Gerald Smith, explained that participants would be able to identify and share ways in which agricultural innovations can advance food security and the trade policies – including information that will assist farmers to access technologies.

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“ISU’s Seed Science Centre is partnering with USDA’s FAS to offer a four-month virtual training course on agricultural biotechnology. This training course will focus on biotechnology research, policies and regulations, management, and public outreach components as well as biotechnology-related trade issues,” Smith said.

He noted that the Centre is a world-renowned institution in biotechnology development, training, research, and management. The goal of the Centre’s global outreach programme is to enhance food and nutritional security, environmental quality, and economic development while facilitating seed trade.

The Foreign Agricultural Service is the overseas arm of the United States Department of Agriculture. It offers a variety of services to American and Nigerian agribusiness companies, government and non-government entities involved in agricultural trade and development. Through a variety of programmes, the service helps developing countries strengthen sustainable agricultural practices by providing capacity building opportunities.

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