Nigeria and 19 other African countries will directly benefit from the African Development Bank- funded initiative known as the Support for Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops (SARD-SC).
The Project Coordinator, SARD-SC, Dr. Chris Akem, while speaking at the country launch of the project in Abuja, said that the multiplier effect of the project is expected to affect other regional member countries in the continent.
Direct beneficiaries of the intervention include farmers in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Scientists, other stakeholders and policy makers say the initiative will help narrow the yield gap facing Africa’s strategic crops even as most countries on the continent embark on agricultural reforms.
The Executive Secretary of Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof Baba Yusuf Abubakar, who was at the luncheon, said that SARD-SC is a huge opportunity for Nigeria to bridge the yield gap through increased local production.