Thursday, 17 April 2008

AGRA-sponsored PhD scientists

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)’s sponsored second group of agricultural PhD candidates from a number of African countries have just graduated (15/04) from their advanced studies program at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The graduates, expected to employ the knowledge gained in their studies to improve African food security across eastern and southern Africa are accredited for initiating a number of programmes.

For example, Dr. Joseph Kamau, a prior graduate student of University’s Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) from Kenya, initiated the first cassava breeding program in his country, and in only three years, developed virus resistant, fast growing, high-yielding varieties that farmers liked for their cooking qualities. Dr. Francisco Miti from Zambia bred maize for small-scale farmers’ conditions, in other words, for drought and low fertility, acid soils. In only three years, he has developed maize that shows a dramatic improvement in its yield potential under these harsh conditions, which is what the majority of Zambia’s farmers need.

On 12 March WACCI and AGRA welcome the inaugural class of Agricultural PhD Students. The first eight doctoral candidates sponsored by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa are entering their advanced studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, hoping to discover new ways to improve crops across West Africa.

Second group of AGRA-sponsored PhD scientists graduate in South Africa
Eight West African Students to Begin Elite Studies at West Africa Crop Improvement Centre to Discover New Ways to Improve African Crops