ABU Scientists conducting research to reduce dependence on inorganic fertilizers IAR Executive Director

ABU Scientists conducting research to reduce dependence on inorganic fertilizers – IAR Executive Director

2023-03-15 17:40:24By
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ABU Scientists conducting research to reduce dependence on inorganic fertilizers – IAR Executive Director


A team of scientists at the Department of Soil Science and that of Crop Protection, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria are currently working assiduously to identify and isolate indigenous beneficial microbes to reduce dependence on inorganic fertilizers and chemical herbicides for crop production.

The cheering news was disclosed by Prof. Mohammed Faguji Ishiyaku, Executive Director, Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Ahmadu Bello University, at the ongoing 34th Annual Conference of the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN) at the premier institution in Zaria.

The Executive Director, who was represented by IAR’s Deputy Director, Prof. Ado Adamu Yusuf, said that the institute had contributed tremendously to putting Nigeria on the map of the world.

He also said that IAR’s germplasm collections are housed in many of the world’s most exotic gene banks, saying further that the institute is equally at the forefront of using biotechnology tools to advance the frontiers of agricultural science in the world.

Ishiyaku, a Professor of Plant Science, explained that the institute released the first pod borer-resistant (PBR) cowpea (SAMPEA-20T) in 2019, a feat, which he said, had earned for the institute global commendations.

He disclosed that IAR was 100 years old last year and it will be celebrating its centenary anniversary this year to highlight its achievements in improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Nigeria.

Speaking on the conference, the IAR Executive Director expressed confidence that the discussions, debates, and deliberations at the three – day event will be fruitful and enlightening, leading to the development of practical and innovative solutions.

Prof. Ishiyaku also said that the sub-themes of the conference, which includes omics technologies, drug and vaccine development, waste to wealth paradigms, forensic biotechnology, reflect the breadth and depth of the impact that biotechnology can have in addressing these challenges. 

He also said that one of the most significant contributions of biotechnology to humans is in the field of healthcare, as biotechnology has revolutionised the way diseases are diagnosed, treated, and prevented.

“Genetic engineering has enabled researchers to develop new drugs and therapies that target specific diseases-causing genes, leading to more personalised and effective treatments,” he said.

Biotechnology, according to him, has also been instrumental to environmental conservation, helping to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the planet, including climate change and pollution.

In his address of welcome, the National President of the Biotechnology Society of Nigeria (BSN), Prof. Mohammed Bello Yerima, expressed gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Kabiru Bala, for granting the Society’s request to hold the conference at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR).

The President, who stressed that the importance of biotechnology as a field of scientific knowledge cannot be over-emphasised, described Ahmadu Bello University as the biotechnology institution, given its great contributions towards the development of the field in Nigeria and beyond.           




Public Affairs Directorate,

Office of the Vice-Chancellor,

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Wednesday, 15th March, 2023

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