PAULESI students visit IITA breeding program
Building the capacities of the younger generation would translate into immediate and long-term goal gains within and outside the organization and the agricultural enterprise as a whole. This was the drive of the conversation when Prof John Derera, IITA Head of Breeding, received ten students from the Pan African University for Life and Earth Sciences (PAULESI) on 6 August. The students were drawn from eight countries: Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Niger, Nigeria, and Rwanda.
The one-day lecture at the Institute’s headquarters was themed “Modern Plant Breeding- Integrating Biotechnology and New Breeding Tools in Classical Breeding Programs.” The lecture exposed the students to modern breeding systems to ensure that genetic gains can be accelerated in the smallholder farming sector. These gains would enhance food security, reduce malnutrition, improve environmental health, strengthen farmer and community resilience to the vagaries of climate change, and foster gender, youth, and social inclusion. This training will help the young and future plant breeders to apply the knowledge gained in their careers and pass it to the next generation.