33) President and Prime Minister of Niger Visit ICRISAT's Display (April 2000)

The Conseil de l'Entente, a regional organization comprising five countries, sponsored a function on Saturday 8 April, at the Palais des Congres in Niamey, Niger, to present awards to the best farmers in Niger for 1999. ICRISAT and INRAN (NARS of Niger) were requested to put up stands for this event.

INRAN's stand highlighted work on sorghum hybrids and transformation of manioc. ICRISAT' exhibited pearl millet varieties, products from pearl millet grain, and two posters, including the one on ‘Science with a Human Face'.  When President Tandja Mamadou and Prime Minister Hama Amadou visited the ICRISAT stand, Site Leader Anand Kumar highlighted the collaboration with INRAN in the areas of dissemination of improved technologies, recommendations on improving soil fertility, and the work of the West African Millet Research Network (ROCAFREMI) on grain transformation.

Research Technician Ada Abarchi showed improved millet varieties.  The President and Prime Minister were presented with copies of the two volume joint INRAN-ICRISAT publication on Technologies diffusables et transférables aux producteurs'. The President, a farmer himself, indicated that he would call a meeting of the all research institutes to discuss transfer of improved technology to the farmers.
Earlier, President Tandja gave away awards to five best farmers in categories that included agriculture, livestock, fish-farming and bee keeping. It was gratifying to note that a woman farmer from Zinder, produced 230 t millet on 260 ha (twice the national average productivity of 0.39 t ha-1) using improved technologies including intercropping and rotation and was sharing her knowledge and experiences with fellow farmers in the community.


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