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Friday, June 8, 2012

Nigeria, five others benefit from Gates’ largesse

    Farmers from six African countries, including Nigeria, are to benefit from the largesse of the second phase of the Commercial Products (COMPRO-II) project being funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
According to NaijaAgroNet investigations, Gates Foundation has before now approved the project which amounts to $7 million, about N1.09 billion, with Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania as the six countries to benefit from the second phase of the project.
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet also revealed that the project is tagged ‘Institutionalization of quality assurance mechanism and dissemination of top quality commercial products to increase crop yields and improve food security of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.’
IITA Director General, Nteranya Sanginga noted that the main objectives of the project are to institutionalize quality assurance mechanisms and facilitate the rapid dissemination of top quality commercial products to increase yields and also improve security of smallholder farmers.
Further, he said the project is to increase awareness among over two million smallholder farmers on effective and profitable commercial products by 2016 through public-private partnership.
Prem Warrior, a senior Programme Officer at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said that the expected outcome of the project is the institutionalization of screening and approval of commercial products.
The phase II of the project proposes to transit technologies used for the phase 1 of the project into Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda; institutionalize regulatory and quality control processes;    disseminate effective products through public-private partnerships; develop communication tools, and    strengthen human capacity.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that at the end of the project, more farmers are expected to confidently use the quality assurance products because of their safety, efficacy, and quality will be ensured through institutionalized regulatory and quality assurance mechanisms.
 Yinka Awosanya/LS
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