ICRISAT is the flagship of international agriculture research in Niger and its research work plays an important role in the country’s development,” said Dr Alambedji Abba Issa, Minister of Agriculture, Niger, during a meeting with Dr Malick Niango Ba, Country Representative – Niger, ICRISAT.
Dr Ba paid a courtesy visit to congratulate the Minister on his appointment, wish him success in his mission and present ICRISAT’s work in Niger. This was the first meeting between Dr Ba and Minister Abba lssa, since the new Administration commenced in April 2021.
During their meeting last month, Dr Ba assured the minister of ICRISAT’s continued support toward the development of the country’s agricultural sector and presented some of ICRISAT’s initiatives that have contributed to the country’s development. He discussed with the Minister the issue of low productivity of groundnut in the region and the need to revive the groundnut value chain in order to reduce cooking oil imports. He said that ICRISAT can leverage on its previous experience in the Dosso region with the Tropical Legumes I and II projects to support the government. Dr Ba briefed on the Sorghum and Millet compact of the Technologies for African Agriculture Transformation (TAAT) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) – a successful initiative that is transforming agriculture in many countries. He provided an oversight of the loans allocated to countries as part of TAAT that Niger could also utilize, and discussed the strategic role of the genebank in Sadore which required the support of the Government of Niger to function effectively in the region. He concluded by discussing the International Year of Millets in 2023 and suggested thata new edition of the International Millet Festival could be organizedin 2022 as a forerunner.
The meeting concluded with an invitation to the Minister to visit the ICRISAT research station in Niger, which he accepted.