By Bashir Bello – Kano
The World Bank has committed the sum of 20 million dollars as a grant to the Centre for Dryland Agriculture, Bayero University, Kano to facilitate research and development activities.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Yahuza Mohammed disclosed this on Friday while signing a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU between the Centre and Dantata Foods and Allied Products Limited.
Yahuza said the center was one of seven others in the country which got the grant given in three trenches following the significant achievements the centre had recorded in research and innovations.
According to him, “out of seven centres that were renewed in Nigeria, our Centre for Dryland Agriculture, CDA was one of those successful.
“The centre initially got the grant of $8million from World Bank, under the extension we got $5million while the new center is going to get $6million. So we’re getting close to $20million for research and development through the university.”
He said the signing of the MoU between the centre and the company is a welcome development as it would go a long way in promoting research for the development of agriculture in the country.
“The importance of working together cannot be overemphasized. For the industry and academia, we need to work together not just to produce. The Dantata Foods and Allied Products Limited is playing a key role in the issue of value addition because within the period of colonization we were just producing raw materials that those who process them outside the country get much more than the farmers and others.
“We thank God that that is the reverse now with companies such as Dantata Foods and Allied Products Limited, where processing and value addition is going on.
“So we cannot continue to work in isolation. The centre has laboratories for analysing and modernising our products,” Prof. Yahuza said.
Similarly, the Chairman of the company, Tajuddeen Aminu-Dantata, said the MoU would enable the university and the company to carry out joint development activities with other stakeholders to work out ways to improve farming and food production in the country.
“So, it is on this note that we felt we should sign MoU and join hands with the centre whom we felt their research is in line with our mission.
“The world is increasing in number and food production and supply is reducing as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity, and water shortage.
“So we have to work together to come up with ways to assist the farmers to improve on their farming,” He said.
Meanwhile, in his remarks, the Director of the centre, Prof. Jibrin Mohammed Jibrin, said the centre established eight years ago has students from thirteen African countries.