The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) in Nigeria has declared that it will produce 250 million fast growing fingerlings as well as high quality brood stock in one year for farmers.
The WAAPP’s National Project Coordinator, Prof. Damian Chikwendu, gave this assurance while addressing newsmen on the sidelines of a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja and stressed that the programme is focused to promote some newly introduced agricultural technology among farmers.
“We have about 120 communities we are working with while the research institutes and colleges are working with some secondary schools as well. We are trying to promote interest in agriculture among students in secondary schools. We are also working with research institutes to multiply breeder seeds, improve foundation seeds as well as working with the private sector to multiply certified seeds. We are also working with the research institutes and universities to multiply fast growing fingerlings and high quality brood stock; our target for fingerlings for one year is to provide 250 million fingerlings. The seeds and fingerlings that are being produced are for farmers and they are getting them already. The programme is also working toward popularising all local genetic materials, “Prof. Chikwendu said.
He mentioned the `Shika brown’ as an example of a layer breed of chicken developed by the National Animal Production Research Institute, and said that the “brown parent stocks” of the new breed would be reproduced with the parent stock and day old chicks distributed to farmers for adoption.
The World Bank Regional Task Team Leader in West Africa Dr Abdoulaye Toure, said the idea of the programme was to share innovations among countries to help develop the sector as well as food security and reduce poverty among West African countries, and urged countries to ensure speedy adoption of technologies and new approaches to development.
NaijaAgroNet recalls that WAAPP is an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) initiative coordinated at the sub-regional level by the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development, but in Nigeria, it was approved by the World Bank and is being coordinated by the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to cooperate with the West African sub-region in technology generation and dissemination.
The ARCN Executive Secretary, Prof. Baba-Yusuf Abubakar, also said that WAAPP programmes were in line with the federal government Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), as it has supported some of the research institutes to produce the foundation seeds that eventually go to the National Seeds Council and then finally to the farmers.
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