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Saturday, May 2, 2015

AU, Harvest Plus sets to promote farming technologies

African Union commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Tumuslime Rhoda Peace, has said that the union would partner with lead research-based agriculture institution, Harvest Plus, to promote farming and consumption of boi-fortified crops, through the use of farming technologies, especially among poor farming and urban communities, to boost Agriculture in the African continent. NaijaAgroNet, reports.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that Tumuslime appreciated the role of the institute in lifting the rural poor communities in Africa out of poverty and stressed that in order to improve market access, the use of farming technology needs propagation at higher policy making levels so that farmers can adopt it and sellers can buy the micro nutrient-added to produce in good quantities.

Director Harvest Plus, Dr. Howarth Bouis and Harvest Plus, Head of Africa Strategic Alliances, Dr. Anna-Marie Ball NaijaAgroNet learnt, briefed the commissioner on its accomplishments in breeding and production of bio-fortified food crops and distribution bio-fortified seed varieties as well as improved cultivars, thereby empowering rural communities.

Dr. Bouis said, “The organisation also helps add value to locally produced agricultural crops in countries where the organization is working in Africa.” She added that “we have released a number of bio-fortified crops including: iron beans, iron pearl millet, vitamin A cassava, vitamin A maize, vitamin A sweet potatoes, Zinc rice and Zinc wheat.”

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the Harvard Plus has executed countless programmes in Africa, especially the rapid expansion in production and consumption of yellow cassava in Nigeria.

Harvest Plus as NaijaAgroNet learnt, is a lead research-based, agriculture technology institution that was established to respond to the problem of ‘hidden hunger’ which is caused by the lack of essential vitamins and minerals in the diet, such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron, thus reinforcing agriculture’s pivotal role in improving the quality of diet and increasing micro-nutrient consumption. 

Nsolibe Daniel/Ed, Ops.

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